Report 18: MV Jawan - Cattle exported to China in August 2018

Cattle exported to China in August 2018

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Voyage summary

The MV Jawan was loaded at Portland on 25 August 2018 and departed on 26 August 2018 with 6,226 cattle. The vessel arrived in Qinhuangdao, China on 15 September 2018 and discharge was completed on 16 September 2018, making this a 23 day voyage.

The Independent Observer (observer) joined the vessel in Portland and remained on board until completion of discharge.

Mortality for the voyage was 0.22% (14 mortalities). This does not exceed the reportable mortality rate.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations and has been approved by 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 and contingencies.

Loading

Livestock in general were loaded onto the vessel in accordance with the load plan, noting some adjustments were made in the first few days to ensure livestock pen densities were in accordance with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 requirements for minimum pen area. The stocking density was sufficient that most, if not all, animals could lay down at once. The health and welfare of animals was maintained during the loading process.

Personnel

Two LiveCorp Accredited stockpersons (stockpersons) accompanied the voyage and were responsible for the health and welfare of the animals. The observer noted the master, Chief Officer (CO), stockpersons and crew were competent in in providing care to assist animal welfare.

There were a total of 45 crew on board. Two were assigned to each deck to tend to cattle during the day and two crew for all decks at night. They were responsible for cleaning and ensuring water troughs and feeders were working, maintaining alley ways, performing wash down, hay distribution and general repairs.

Daily routine

All decks were inspected twice a day commencing at 6:00am and 2:00pm, taking three hours for each inspection. Inspections were conducted by the stockpersons and independently by the observer.

Overnight, two night watch crew seen checking water troughs. The observer performed night inspections randomly on three occasions. There was no concern noted as the cattle were generally found to be resting.

Feed and water

There were no significant perceived issues with feed and water trough availability. All cattle appeared to have adequate access and no overcrowding was noted.

On occasion, drinking water was discoloured however this did not deter livestock from drinking. Troughs were cleaned daily or immediately when found contaminated. At times, the observer witnessed periods of time when water troughs would be empty or contaminated, this was not noted to affect animal welfare.

Ventilation

The temperatures recorded for each deck in the daily report were taken at 7:00am each morning. The thermometers were placed near ventilators on each deck.

The observer noted that the hottest day was on day 16, with dry bulb temperatures at 33.5°C, and wet bulb temperatures at 31°C. During these times, the observer witness increased respiratory rates with pant scores between 2.5 and 3.

Pen conditions

The decks were washed every four to five days using sea water. The observer noted sawdust was used in limited supply. Sawdust was used to improve pen conditions, however sea spray from rough sea early on in the voyage created very wet conditions on the upper decks at the fore of the vessel.

The first wash down occurred on days 8 and 9. The observer noted that cattle had heavy coat contamination and an ammonia smell prior to wash down. Afterwards, the pens were left clean and sawdust was replenished on day 8. No sawdust was applied after wash down on day 9 or on second wash down on day 12 and 13 as sawdust reserved for later in the voyage. The observer noted this contributed to wet and sloppy conditions later on in the voyage.

Health and welfare

Hospital pens were used for sick animals during the voyage. Animals that were lame, shy feeders, scouring or other unspecified conditions were moved to hospital pens. The observer noted 2 occasions where animals being treated were not responding to medication, and felt the animals should have been euthanised. Both animals subsequently died later on the vessel. Other mortalities were attributed to various diseases including, hardware disease, leg injuries, enteritis and misadventure.

The most common cause for morbidity was from lame cattle. The observer noted that 33 cattle in total were treated due to lameness which was likely caused by the wet and boggy pad conditions.

Conditions around the equator for a period of 5 days were hot and humid. At times, cattle were observed panting with open mouths, drooling with tongue out over water troughs.

Discharge

There were no issues noted at discharge.

Other

The livestock medicine room was unhygienic with dirty floors, cupboards and fridge. Medicines were stored at temperatures above the label recommendations. Injection guns had broken dirty needles. Under dosing with antibiotics and poor administration technique of drugs was observed.

Conclusion

The various issues noted by the observer including pen management, water availability, trough conditions and medication storage have been addressed with the relevant exporter. These issues will continue to be monitored on upcoming voyages.


Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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