Report 150: MV Ocean Swagman - Cattle exported to Indonesia in June 2019

Cattle exported to Indonesia in June 2019


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 6,805 cattle was loaded onto the MV Ocean Swagman at the Port of Darwin between 23 June and 24 June 2019. The first discharge of cattle was at the Port of Jakarta, Indonesia between 29 June and 1 July 2019. The second discharge was at the Port of Bandar Lampung, Indonesia between 1 and 2 July 2019, making this a 10 day voyage.

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

The mortality rate for cattle was 0.06% (4 mortalities). The mortality rate does not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The causes of the mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systematic failure by the exporter.

The following are a summary of key observations of the observer who accompanied the 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 livestock crew were observed to be efficient and proactive in their duties. The cattle were loaded in accordance with the load plan and the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock 2011 (version 2.3) (ASEL) requirements. The observer noted that 50% of all the cattle had sufficient space to lie down at any one time during the voyage.

Fodder and water was provided to the cattle on completion of loading, and was within 12 hours as prescribed under the ASEL requirements. No animal health or welfare incidents were observed during loading.


Two LiveCorp Accredited Stockpersons (stockpersons) accompanied this consignment. The head stockperson was responsible for the managing livestock in accordance with the ASEL requirements and the exporter’s voyage instructions.

The Chief Officer (CO) and bosun were responsible for managing the livestock crew during the voyage.

The livestock crew were diligent and caring in meeting the needs of the cattle aboard the vessel ensuring health and welfare standards were maintained during the voyage.

Daily routine

The stockpersons walked through the decks twice a day assessing the cattle for injuries or illnesses, administering medication and adjusting pen densities as required. The bosun also inspected the livestock daily and notified the stockpersons of any injuries and/or illnesses.

A management meeting was held each day at 10:00am and was attended by the CO, boson, stockpersons and the observer to discuss any issues identified that were/could be impacting on the health and welfare of the cattle.

Livestock crew worked in the hold 24 hours each day. The cattle were fed 3 times a day and the crew maintained the troughs by ensuring they were free from contamination before adding fodder or fresh water.

The CO took wet and dry bulb temperatures on all the decks, twice a day.

The night watch person inspected all the decks systematically and checked the livestock for issues, maintained feed and water troughs, and performed general maintenance.

Feed and water

Pelletised feed was loaded in accordance with the ASEL requirements and was distributed from the vessel’s storage silos via a chute system directly into the feed troughs. Less than 5% of the feed troughs were required to be manually filled by the crew.

Animals were provided water through automatic water troughs located in each pen. From day one additional water was supplied in troughs filled by hose by the crew. The crew ensured the water troughs were clean and not contaminated when providing water to animals.


The ventilation system functioned effectively and provided the livestock with fresh cool air. There was little variation in temperatures experienced throughout the voyage. There were no animal welfare issues associated with ventilation.

Pen conditions

Pad conditions were initially wet from urine and splash from water troughs. As the voyage progressed, the pads became thicker and were consistently dry and in good condition. Pad maintenance was managed through the addition of sawdust and pens were well managed.

Health and welfare

During the voyage, 8 cattle were treated and isolated in the hospital pens. These animals recovered sufficiently to be discharged at the end of the voyage.

There were 4 mortalities during the voyage. Three mortalities were due to injuries, two animals suffered a broken leg and one animal suffered a broken jaw. One animal was identified as over the headcount at discharge and was humanly euthanased.


All the cattle had adequate access to feed and water for the duration of the discharge. The crew used appropriate stock handling techniques to move the animals off the vessel.


Overall, the master, CO, bosun, stockpersons and crew had a genuine care for the health and welfare of the livestock during the voyage.

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

Last reviewed: 24 December 2019
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