Report 177: MV Gelbray Express - Cattle exported to Indonesia in August 2019

Cattle exported to Indonesia in August 2019


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3,561 cattle was loaded on the MV Gelbray Express at Darwin between 30 and 31 August 2019. The vessel departed on 31 August 2019. The vessel discharged the cattle at Jakarta, Indonesia, between 6 and 7 September 2019, making this an 8-day voyage.

There were no mortalities during the voyage.

An Independent Observer (observer) boarded the vessel at Darwin, and remained on board until completion of discharge. The following comments are a summary of key observations from the observer, who has approved this summary report.

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.


The cattle were loaded in accordance with the load plan, although there were several pens that did not comply with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL) requirements. Once brought to the attention of the stockperson, the pen densities were adjusted immediately. The non-compliances did not impact on animal welfare.

All cattle had access to fodder and water as soon as they were loaded in accordance with ASEL requirements.

No animal welfare issues were observed during loading.


There was an experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) on board responsible for implementing the exporters’ procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock throughout the voyage.

There were sufficient experienced livestock crew on-board the vessel to deliver livestock services that included feeding, watering, caring for the cattle, and assisting the stockperson.

Daily routine

Management meetings were held each day at 10:00am and were attended by the Chief Officer, stockperson and observer to confirm/adjust feeding times and watering and any other relevant issues.

The stockperson inspected the cattle at 7:30am and 3:30pm, and also did inspections throughout the day.

The cattle were fed twice daily, and chaff was fed on days 3 and 5.

The crew checked that the water troughs were clean and in working order; that aisles were well maintained and cleaned on a daily basis. The bosun continually monitored all the water trough delivery systems, and would carry out maintenance such as hose repairs.

Night watch duties were assigned to two crew members who each worked a six-hour shift between 6:00pm and 6:00am. Their duties included cleaning, shovelling fodder spillage from the aisles, and re-hanging fallen fodder troughs. No incidents occurred during night watch during the voyage.

Feed and water

The cattle had easy access to feed troughs and clean fresh water which were available throughout the voyage and during discharge.

Water was supplied to pens via automatic nose bowls and was supplemented with manual filling of water troughs twice daily commencing from day 2.


The vessel’s ventilation system operated well throughout the voyage, and no symptoms of heat stress or panting were observed in the cattle.

The vessel stopped for 12 hours after leaving Darwin because of an engineering problem with the main engine. Livestock services were maintained during this time so that there were no adverse effects on the cattle observed.

Pen conditions

The pads were friable during the initial stages of the voyage. Towards the end of the voyage some pads were damp but did not appear to impact negatively on the health and welfare of the cattle. No deck washing was required because this was a short voyage.

Pen space allowed 50% or more of animals to lay down at any one time.

Health and welfare

No cattle were injured during the voyage. Two cattle received a one-off treatment on day 5, one for lameness and one for excessive nasal discharge. Both animals were discharged in good health.

There were no issues with the overall health and welfare of the cattle.


All livestock had access to clean water and fodder during discharge.

No animal health or welfare issues were observed as a result of the discharge of the consignment.


The observer noted that the stockpersons and the crew ensured that the health and welfare of the cattle were maintained during the voyage.

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

Last reviewed: 12 December 2019
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