Report 188: MV Shorthorn Express - Cattle exported to Indonesia in September 2019

Cattle exported to Indonesia in September 2019


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3,078 head of cattle was loaded onto the MV Shorthorn Express at the Port of Darwin between 21 and 22 September 2019. The vessel departed on 22 September 2019. The cattle were discharged at the Port of Jakarta, Indonesia, between 26 and 27 September 2019, making this a 7 day voyage.

An Independent Observer (observer) boarded the vessel in 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 cause of this mortality was not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporter.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations and has 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.


The observer did not note any issues during loading. The cattle were given access to feed and water as per Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock 2011 (version 2.3) (ASEL) requirements.


The LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) on-board the vessel was experienced and was responsible for implementing the exporters’ procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock throughout the voyage. The stockperson, Chief Officer (CO) and crew had an effective working relationship.

Daily routine

The crew commenced the feeding and maintenance of water troughs at around 6:30am and was repeated at 10:30am and 3:30pm. The cattle received a top up feed with chaff at 9:00am and 1:00pm with an additional water check at this time.

A management meeting was held each morning and was attended by the master, CO, stockperson and the observer. Topics discussed included animal welfare, feed and water availability, mortalities and any adjustments to the feeding and watering schedules.

There were two night watchpersons assigned to each 6 hour shift between 6:00pm and 6:00am. During these shifts crew would conduct welfare checks of the cattle and clean and fill water bowls and troughs.

Feed and water

Cattle received 3 full feeds and 2 top up feeds each day. Contaminants were removed from feed troughs daily.

Water was available via automatic nose bowls, cattle also had access to one manually filled water trough per pen. Water troughs were maintained throughout day and night shifts. 


The observer did not note any issues with ventilation. Temperature readings were taken each day.

Pen conditions

Sawdust was available to manage pen conditions if required. Deck washing was not undertaken on this voyage as pen conditions remained acceptable and did not become wet. 

Health and welfare

Cattle were observed to be eating and some resting within the first 12 hours of the voyage. The health and welfare of the cattle was continually maintained by the crew throughout the voyage. There were no symptoms of heat stress observed during the voyage.

One animal was noticed to be limping during loading so was placed in a hospital pen to be monitored, no treatments were required to be administered and the animal was discharged without signs of lameness.

There was one mortality on this voyage. The animal was found in its pen and the cause of death was not determined.

The observer noticed that the cattle were carefully monitored during the voyage and were managed appropriately.


The observer did not note any issues with discharge. Cattle had access to feed and water during discharge.


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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