Report 37: MV Shorthorn Express Cattle exported to Indonesia in November 2018

Cattle exported to Indonesia in November 2018


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 2875 cattle was loaded onto the MV Shorthorn Express in Broome on 15 November 2018. The vessel departed on 15 November 2018. The cattle were discharged at Jakarta, Indonesia on 19 / 20 November and Panjang, Indonesia on 21 / 22 November 2018 making this an 8 day voyage.

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

The mortality rate for the voyage was 0.03% (one mortality).

The mortality rate does not exceed the reportable mortality rate as stated in the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL). The cause of the mortality 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 who accompanied this voyage.

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


The observer noted that the cattle were not loaded in strict accordance with the load plan. It was noted that the odd pen had more cattle than allocated in the load plan but that this was satisfactorily resolved within the first day at sea. Space in the pens was sufficient as at least 50% of the animals were able to rest at once.


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

The crew consisted of a total of 27 persons. The crew included an experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson). The observer noted the stockperson was competent.

The experienced bosun supervised 13 crew and no animal welfare issues with the crew were noted. Animal handling skills were adequate when needed.

Daily routine

The stock person inspected the cattle routinely twice daily at 7.15am and around 3.00pm. The crew commenced the twice daily feeding and water trough cleaning at the same time. The stock person observed the feeding and water trough cleaning process to assess whether changes were required.

A daily meeting was held involving the stockperson, Chief Officer (CO) and observer to discuss the previous day’s performance, animal welfare and any other issues which may have arisen.

Two night watch persons shared the duties walking the decks, checking on the cattle, feeders, water troughs, and undertaking remedial action if issues were detected.

Feed and water

The crew commenced their morning feed, watering and cleaning routine from 7.15am. Feeding was a manual task with crew physically filling each trough with pelleted feed. Chaff was also mixed with the pellets during each feed.
Water was supplied by one water trough and two nose bowls per pen. The water trough was filled using a hose at feed time.  The access to water appeared to be satisfactory during the voyage.


The MV Shorthorn Express has 5 enclosed decks. The ventilation system consisted of supply and extraction fans moving air to all decks via the ventilation ducts.

Average temperatures on decks for the voyage were 32 degrees Celsius dry bulb, and 28 degrees Celsius wet bulb and humidity at 79%.

Pen conditions

As the voyage was of a short duration, no decks were washed. The pad depth was up to 3 cm.

Health and welfare

The observer did not note any welfare issues on this voyage. One animal was treated for lameness on the first day and recovered well. One animal fractured a leg during loading and was immediately euthanised. No other mortalities were recorded.


The observer noted that animal handling skills at discharge were noted as good and no stress was observed.


Overall, the voyage went well with no animal welfare issues noted or no signs of animal stress.

The observer did not observe any issues with non-compliance on the voyage.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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