Report 190: MV Ganado Express - Cattle exported to Indonesia in September 2019

Cattle exported to Indonesia in September 2019

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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3,426 cattle was loaded on the MV Ganado Express at the Port of Darwin on 23 and 24 September 2019. The vessel departed on 24 September 2019. The cattle were discharged at the Port of Panjang, Indonesia, between 28 and 29 September 2019, making this a 7-day voyage.

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

There were no mortalities on this voyage.

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.

Loading

The vessel was loaded smoothly and in accordance with the load plan and the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock 2011 (version 2.3) (ASEL) requirements. There was sufficient space on the vessel to allow the cattle to lie down at a rate greater than 50%.

Fodder and water were available within the 12‑hour period of loading and there were no animal welfare issues noted during loading.

Personnel

The LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) who accompanied the voyage had completed several voyages, and established a good working relationship with the Chief Officer (CO) and master as well as the livestock crew.

The stockperson was responsible for implementing the exporter’s procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the cattle throughout the voyage. The stockperson and the crew worked throughout the voyage to maintain animal health and welfare in accordance with ASEL requirements.

The master of the vessel did a walkthrough of the decks as part of his daily routine. The duties of the livestock crew included manual feeding, cleaning nose bowls, cleaning floors, and observing the cattle. The crew were competent in their roles. The stockperson had a background in stock management.

Daily routine

A management meeting was held each morning and was attended by the CO, stockperson and observer to discuss the schedule for the day. The cattle were fed at 7:30am, 10:30am and 3:30pm each day.

The stockperson inspected the decks before breakfast. After breakfast the stockperson commenced assessing each pen of cattle to check for sick animals, fodder and water condition, administered treatments where necessary and attended to any other issues that had arisen. The stockperson again undertook inspections of the cattle in the afternoon up until around 5:30pm. Evening checks on feed and water were also part of this routine.

Night watch duties were split between 3 crew on a four-hourly rotation from 6:00pm to 6:00am, and involved monitoring the cattle, maintaining the nose bowls and feeders and dealing with any other issues that arose during the night.

Feed and water

The feed system on the vessel was automatic and delivered pelletised feed to chutes, which the livestock crew manually bagged and filled the troughs at each pen. The pellet feed was of good quality with no fines evident throughout the voyage.

Three feed troughs were available per pen, which was reduced to two when manual watering commenced from day 4 (see below). During cleaning the feed and floor sweepings were added to the pens to firm-up the pads. Feed not consumed throughout the night was emptied from the troughs each morning before feeding commenced, or as instructed by the stockperson. Chaff was fed to the cattle prior to discharge.

Water was of good quality, and crew tested its salinity daily. Each pen had two automatic nose bowls that were cleaned out at each feeding cycle. The stockperson ordered manual watering from day 4 after consideration of the average water intake from the previous three days. One feed trough per pen was emptied, and was continually manually filled with water by a designated crewman until discharge was complete.

Ventilation

Ventilation was provided by a series of vertical pipes that carried fresh air into each pen by holes placed at strategic locations. A similar system was used to extract stale air from all the decks. There were no hot spots or ammonia smells observed on any deck. No breakdowns were observed with the ventilation system.

Temperature and humidity levels were taken with a maximum temperature recorded of 29°C and a maximum humidity level of 79%.

Pen conditions

Pens were in good condition and had no protrusions which could injure the animals. The floors were coated in a non-stick adhesive to prevent injury through slipping.

The pad conditions remained firm to crumbly throughout the voyage and no deck washout was required due to the short duration of the voyage.

Cattle had easy access to feed and water and there was ample room for each animal to manoeuvre around the pen. Lights in all walkways on all decks remained on 24/7. Noise on all decks was an average of 80 dB, rising during feeding cycles.

Health and welfare

The stockperson identified and administered treatment to animals as required. No cattle needed to be moved to the hospital pens during the voyage, and there were no mortalities. The observer noted the veterinary equipment and drug supply on the vessel complied with ASEL requirements.

Discharge

During discharge, the shore crew used wooden sticks that were approximately half a metre in length to help move the cattle along the ramp ways and onto the trucks. The sticks were not used in a manner that was detrimental to the health and welfare of the livestock. There was minimal use of electric prodders.

No animal welfare incidents were observed during unloading, which took approximately 17 hours to complete.

Conclusion

This voyage went well, and the observer saw no animal welfare issues or non-compliances. The crew were aware of, and demonstrated, good animal handling and welfare procedures. The stockperson was competent in all aspects of animal management and stock handling.

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

Last reviewed: 16 January 2020
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