Report 147: MV Gudali Express - Cattle exported to Vietnam in June 2019

Cattle exported to Vietnam in June 2019


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 2,339 cattle and 180 buffalo was loaded onto the MV Gudali Express at the Port of Darwin on 21 June 2019. The vessel departed on 22 June 2019. The livestock were discharged at the Port of Haiphong, Vietnam on 30 June 2019, making this a 10 day voyage.

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

There were no buffalo mortalities. The mortality rate for the cattle was 0.04% (1 mortality). This does not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The cause of the mortality was 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 and contingencies.


Loading was efficient and occurred without significant incident noting that 3 animals were observed to fall during loading (the observer did not note any injuries as a result of these falls). The observer also commented on inappropriate use of an electric prodder on an animal.


An experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) accompanied the voyage responsible for implementing the exporters’ procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock throughout the voyage. The stockperson worked well with the livestock crew. Livestock were well supervised, and fodder and water troughs were properly managed to supply clean and fodder and fresh water to livestock throughout the voyage.

Daily routine

A management meeting was held each day and was attended by the master, bosun, Chief Officer (CO), stockperson and observer. Topics discussed included temperature records, daily water and fodder consumption and livestock health and welfare.

Livestock were fed thrice daily with pellets, and chopped hay was offered when the stockperson deemed it necessary to maintain health and welfare of different livestock categories, depending on their consumption. Pellets were gravity fed to each deck through a pipe system, where crew would fill up sacks, which they carried manually to fill each fodder trough. Livestock were routinely checked day and night by the crew and the stockperson.

Dry and wet bulb temperatures and humidity readings were taken each morning with a hand device, from every cargo-hold within each livestock deck.

Feed and water

The crew worked diligently to ensure adequate feed and water was available. However the observer noted that some cattle did not adapt well to the pellets and presented with hollow sides throughout the voyage. Chaff was mixed with the pellet ration to encourage these cattle to increase their fodder intake. Crew manually filled 1 water trough in each pen in addition to the automatic nose bowls in order to ensure all cattle had adequate access to water.


There were no issues observed with ventilation during the voyage and the air quality was good throughout the voyage.

The maximum temperatures on decks for the voyage were 34°C dry bulb and 31°C wet bulb with humidity of 81%.

Pen conditions

Pads conditions remained in a stable condition with low ammonia odour levels throughout the voyage. Livestock had adequate space to lie and areas near engine housing were lightly stocked.

Health and welfare

The majority of livestock were in good condition and travelled well.

Four cattle were treated for respiratory disorder, 1 of which subsequently died.

Three cattle were noted to have ill thrift and were treated in their pens. These cattle could not be relocated due to the aggressive nature of the other cattle within their pen. These cattle were able to be discharged.


Crew appeared to work patiently and professionally and no major issues occurred at discharge relevant to animal welfare.


The exporter arrangements with regard to food, water, animal health, use of saw dust bedding and animal handling were observed to be implemented during the voyage and to be compliant with Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL) requirements.

Last reviewed: 5 December 2019
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