Report 25: MV Awassi Express - Cattle exported to Indonesia in October 2018
Cattle exported to Indonesia in October 2018
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A consignment of 12,250 cattle was loaded onto the MV Awassi Express in Broome from 16 to 18 October 2018. The vessel was discharged in Panjang, Indonesia from 23 to 25 October 2018 and in Belawan, Indonesia on 29 October 2018, making this a 14 day voyage.
An Independent Observer (observer) boarded the vessel in Broome and remained on board until completion of discharge.
The mortality rate for the cattle was 0.06% (7 mortalities). This does not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The cause of the mortalities was not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporter.
The following comments represent a summary of key observations from the observer that accompanied the voyage. The summary has been approved by the observer.
Implementation of procedures to ensure health and welfare of livestock
Exporter arrangements were available to address procedures relating to livestock management from loading through to discharge and contingencies.
Loading was undertaken in an appropriate manner noting that the cattle demonstrated flighty behaviour. The cattle were provided with fodder and fresh water within a few hours of being penned.
The penning of the cattle varied for some pens from what was stipulated in the load plan. This was rectified early into the voyage, with the number of cattle in pens being adjusted to give them more space.
Four LiveCorp Accredited Stockpersons (stockperson) accompanied the livestock voyage who were responsible for the health and welfare of the cattle.
The majority of the crew spent their time feeding, ensuring water was available to the cattle, loading, unloading duties and performing wash down of decks.
A daily meeting was held every day at 10:00am with the master, Chief Officer (CO), bosun, stockpersons and observer. The meeting consisted mainly of a report from the head stockperson on the welfare of the cattle and instruction on the changes to the feeding regime, advice on the estimated time of arrival from the master and an opportunity for the observer to raise issues.
The crew worked from 7:00am until 6:00pm with some breaks. The stockpersons checked all cattle and administered treatments between 7:00am and 10:00am. Other tasks including adjusting pen numbers, moving animals to the hospital pens and post mortems were performed between 11:00am and 3:00pm. The cattle were checked again between 3:00pm and 6:00pm
Four crew were on night watch from 8pm until 6am to monitor the cattle, water supply, fans and ventilation.
Feed and water
The fodder was stored in large silos and is pumped by a computerised system to chutes at multiple points on each deck. The crew manually transfer the fodder to the troughs as required.
Most pens have space for three feed troughs in addition to the automatic water trough. The crew worked hard to maintain the feed and water supply to enable ad lib feeding. In addition to the pellets, the cattle were fed chaff at the discretion of the head stockperson.
Fresh water was generated by desalination plants and the vessel has significant water storage capacity. Water was supplied to the cattle from automatically filling plastic troughs that hung on the outside of the pen. The observer noted that the cattle always had access to water.
All livestock decks are fully enclosed. The ventilation system consists of supply vents, spreading fans and extraction fans. Some decks have doors that can be left open for some natural air flow.
The temperature readings were taken every four hours. Temperature and humidity readings varied marginally across the decks.
The conditions were hot and humid with the maximum temperatures of 34°C dry bulb, 32°C wet bulb at 87% humidity. The washing of the deck reduced the temperature and humidity.
Deck washing was not undertaken between Broome and Panjang. The deposited manure was friable and dry.
After departing Panjang and upon reaching international waters, the decks with remaining cattle were washed down on route to Belawan, Indonesia.
Health and welfare
During the voyage, animals were treated for respiratory disease, eye conditions, minor injury at loading, shy feeders and one that was unsteady when standing.
Despite the conscientious efforts of the stockpersons and crew, there were 7 mortalities. One cause of death was not established but six of the mortalities were caused by pneumonia.
The handling of the cattle by the stockpersons and crew appeared to be performed competently.
The discharge operation in Indonesia was slow because of the relatively small size and available number of the trucks. No other issues were noted by the observer relating to the discharge procedure.
The cattle were well cared for, fed and watered on the voyage. The handling of the cattle by the stockpersons and crew appeared to be performed competently.
The exporter arrangements were observed to be implemented during the voyage and to be compliant with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL) requirements.