Report 191: MV Ocean Drover - Cattle exported to Indonesia in October 2019

Cattle exported to Indonesia in October 2019


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Voyage summary

Three consignments of 19,125 head of cattle (in total) for 3 exporters were loaded onto the MV Ocean Drover at the Port of Townsville between 30 September and 1 October 2019. The vessel departed on 1 October 2019. The first discharge was at the Port of Jakarta, Indonesia, between 8 and 13 October 2019. The second discharge was at the Port of Panjang, Indonesia between 13 and 14 October 2019, making this a 15 day voyage.

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

The mortality rate for the cattle was 0.05% (9 mortalities). This does not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The causes of these mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporters.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations and have 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, including contingencies.


The observer did not note any issues with loading. Cattle were loaded in accordance with the load plan and the observer noted there was ample space for cattle to move within the pens.


Five LiveCorp Accredited Stockpersons (stockpersons) accompanied this voyage and were responsible for implementing the exporters’ procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the cattle throughout the voyage.

Daily routine

Cattle were fed pelletised feed 3 times per day and chaff once a day. Water troughs were cleaned and filled an hour after each feed. Management meetings were held each day at 10am and were attended by the, Chief Officer (CO), bosun, stockpersons and the observer.

Feed and water

Water troughs were cleaned approximately 3 times per day. The observer noted that although for the majority of the voyage cattle had adequate access to water, at times during loading and discharge water was turned off to prevent flooding due to leaking water troughs. During these times a higher number of dirty and empty water troughs were observed. The observer noted that some cattle did jostle for trough space once the water was turned back on. The observer noted that cattle did not exhibit symptoms of heat stress.


The observer noted the ventilation system was good and maintained pad dryness and a constant air flow throughout all the decks. Temperature and humidity readings were taken daily with average temperatures of 29-31 °C and humidity of 79-85%.

Pen conditions

Overall the pen conditions were good for the majority of the voyage. Enclosed decks were washed down during the voyage. Flooding of some pens occurred for approximately 6 hours during wash down due to issues with a bilge pump. This was rectified, deck washing was completed and cattle were observed to be resting the following morning.

During discharge wet pen conditions were observed as a result of undetected leaking water troughs. Sawdust was applied to these pens in order to manage pen conditions and cattle were moved from affected pens once other pens became available. The observer noted that the pen conditions did not appear to impact animal welfare.

Health and welfare

There were 9 mortalities during the voyage. Four were from pneumonia or suspected pneumonia, one through likely suffocation due to misadventure when caught under a gate and one from bloating and breathing difficulties. Two cattle were euthanised due to fractured legs at discharge.

The observer noted that the cattle travelled well and favourable animal health and welfare outcomes were achieved. 


The observer noted that appropriate animal handling procedures were used during the discharge process. The observer commented that during the discharge, tasks such as the monitoring of water troughs were carried out less frequently than during the voyage, although no animal health or welfare issues were observed.  


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

Last reviewed: 27 February 2020
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