Report 24: Independent Observer summary report on MV Gudali Express

Cattle exported to Indonesia in October 2018

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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3817 cattle was loaded onto the MV Gudali Express at the Port of Broome on 9 and 10 October 2018. The MV Gudali Express departed in the afternoon of 10 October and was unloaded in Jakarta, Indonesia on 15 October 2018. The voyage was 6 days in length, with the unloading and discharge process taking two days.

There were no mortalities on the voyage.

An independent observer (observer) boarded the vessel in Broome and remained on board until completion of discharge.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations from the observer that accompanied the voyage. The summary has been approved by the observer who accompanied the voyage.

Implementation of procedures to ensure health and welfare of livestock

Exporter Documentation

Consignment Specific export plans (CSEPs) were available to address procedures relating to livestock management from loading through to discharge and contingencies. The instructions included in the CSEPs were observed to be implemented during the voyage and to be compliant with ASEL requirements.

Loading

Livestock were not loaded in strict accordance with the load plan. During the first few hours at sea, the pens were adjusted to comply with the load plan. The observer noted that at least 50% of cattle could lie down at one time in most pens.

Personnel

An Australian Government Accredited Veterinarian (AAV) was not required to be present on the voyage.

The crew included an experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stock person (stock person) who had worked on livestock vessels for many years. The observer considered the stockperson to have good skills and provided high level of care for the cattle. The stockperson worked well with the crew and the crew were competent animal handlers.

The Master and the chief officer (CO) were keen to hear about the condition of the stock throughout the voyage. The Master walked the decks daily during the voyage.

Daily routine

A daily meeting was held every day at 10.00am and involved the Master, CO, stock person, and the observer to discuss daily feed intake, water consumption or any other issues arising from previous day.

The stock person performed rounds commencing at 7.00am including inspecting each pen during feeding and watering to make sure that the feed and water supply is adequate. The crew notified the stockperson if an animal was found to be lame or injured.

Fourteen crew provided livestock management services on the 5 enclosed decks.

Two night watch persons rotated from 6.00pm until midnight and midnight to 6.00am. Their role was to monitor water supply, livestock health and any other issue that may arise.

Feed and water

Feed is provided via pipes to each deck. The pellets are then bagged from chutes and manually distributed to feed troughs for each pen. The crew fed the cattle twice daily.

Water is supplied by filling troughs by hoses and two nose bowls to continuously supply water. The water troughs were cleaned twice daily and the water supply was adequate and clean. No issues were noted with the water and fodder system.

Ventilation

The vessel is fully enclosed. No issues with ventilation were noted.

The temperature readings were taken at 11.00am and ranged from 28 to 34 degrees Celsius and humidity ranging from 68 to 75%.

Pen conditions

The pads started off being sloppy on the first day but dried out over the voyage. Waste fodder was added to the pens to assist with drying the pad. As this voyage was relatively short duration of 6 days, the decks were not washed. The pad was two centimetres deep at the end of the voyage.

Health and welfare

There were no mortalities for the voyage. Six animals were treated for lameness with one animal moved to the hospital pen. All animals responded to treatment and disembarked the vessel.

No heat stress or other illness other than the lame cattle. All hospital pens were empty when the vessel departed Broome.

Discharge

No issues were noted with discharge.

Conclusion

The observer concluded that there were no animal welfare issues during the voyage including observations of overcrowding, heat stress or panting.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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