Report 146: MV Shorthorn Express - Cattle exported to Indonesia in June 2019

Cattle exported to Indonesia in June 2019


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3,123 cattle were loaded on the MV Shorthorn Express in Darwin on 14 June 2019 and departed in the evening. The vessel discharged the cattle at the Port of Panjang, Indonesia between 19 and 20 June 2019, making this a 6 day voyage.

An Independent Observer (observer) boarded the vessel at Darwin and remained on board until completion of discharge.

The mortality rate for the cattle was 0.03% (1 mortality). This does not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The causes of the mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporter.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations and have been approved by the observer who accompanied this voyage.

Independent Observations of the implementation of procedures to ensure health and welfare of livestock

Exporter documentation

Exporter arrangements were available to address procedures relating to livestock management from loading through to discharge, including contingencies.


The observer noted the cattle were loaded quickly and without any unnecessary force. Pen density was within the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL) requirements and enabled around 60% of the cattle in pens to lie down at one time. Some adjustments to pen densities were made once the cattle had settled. No animal welfare issues were observed.

Sawdust bedding was added to pens prior to loading. Water was available in nose bowls in all pens on all decks.


One LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) accompanied voyage and was responsible for implementing the exporters’ procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock throughout the voyage. The stockperson was experienced with ASEL requirements and the exporter’s arrangements.

Daily routine

A deck crew meeting was held each day at around 7:00am where the daily work instructions, feed plan, watering plan and any other relevant issues were presented by the Chief Officer (CO) and bosun.

A daily management meeting was held at 11:30am with attendees discussing animal welfare findings and any corrective actions, treatments, fodder and water consumption, chaff delivery, fodder plans, temperatures, hospital pans, night watch duties and manual watering.

One crew member was rostered on each 4 hour rotating night watch shift.

Feed and water

The vessel feeding system delivered fodder to each deck and the crew manually filled the feed troughs. The cattle received pelleted fodder at 7:00am, 10:30am and 3:30pm. Chaff was delivered at the stockpersons discretion in the morning or afternoon feeds. Fodder was fresh with no mould or contamination observed. Fodder troughs were cleaned each morning with finely ground pellets emptied into the pens.

Drinking water was produced through reverse osmosis plants on the vessel. Water was available in the nose bowls in each pen. From Day 3 onwards, the crew manually filled plastic water troughs in the pens to provide the cattle with additional drinking water.


The ventilation system supplied air through large overhead PVC pipes on each deck which directed air into the pens. An exhaust system removed stale hot air from each deck.

Daily temperatures were recorded between 10:00am and midday. The average temperatures were 27°C wet bulb, 30°C dry bulb and the average relative humidity was 78%. Overall the conditions were mild with minimum swell and little wind.

Pen conditions

Pad condition and maintenance was regularly assessed. Pads remained dry and thin throughout the voyage with no deck washing required on this short haul voyage.

Health and welfare

The stockperson monitored the livestock during the day and into the night. Deck crew were supervised by the bosun and the CO with all directions, work instructions, pad maintenance, fodder, water and daily plans completed.

One animal was hospitalised for nasal discharge. The animal was closely monitored and recovered with no medications administered.

No shy feeders were observed during this voyage.


The observer noted the stockperson and crew discharged the livestock in a calm and smooth manner and complied with the ASEL requirements.


The exporter arrangements were observed to be implemented during the voyage and to be compliant with ASEL requirements.

Last reviewed: 21 November 2019
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