Report 38: MV Dareen - Cattle exported to Vietnam in November 2018

Cattle exported to Vietnam in November 2018

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Voyage summary

A consignment of 4,976 cattle were loaded onto the MV Dareen at Fremantle on 15 and 16 November 2018. The vessel departed on 16 November 2018. The cattle were discharged at Port Cai Lan, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam on 30 November 2018, making this a 16 day voyage.

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

The mortality rate for cattle was 0.30% (15 mortalities). These do not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The cause of these mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporter.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations and have been approved by the observer who accompanied this voyage.

Implementation of procedures to ensure health and welfare of livestock

Loading

The observer noted the cattle were not loaded in strict accordance with the load plan. Over the next day, cattle were separated more evenly leaving more room in some pens for the larger cattle.

Personnel

Personnel on board the vessel included the LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) and a trainee stockperson who worked well as a team. The stockperson was responsible for implementing the exporters’ procedures to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock throughout the voyage. The stockperson was considered to be experienced in all aspects of stock handling, identifying and treating livestock that required additional care and able to communicate effectively. The voyage was well supervised by the head stockperson.

The deck crew were responsive to the stockperson’s requests and instructions. The master was observed assisting crew at times cleaning decks and during deck washing.

Daily routine

A meeting was held at 11.00am each day and involved the master, Chief Officer, stockperson, and observer. The meeting agenda included weather report, current conditions, treatments, mortalities, corrective and preventative actions, stock behaviours, feed intakes and feeding times, water intake, deck crew competency and instructions and pad maintenance.

The morning livestock inspection commenced at 8.00am. The afternoon inspection was between 1.00pm and 5.00pm. The inspection process included evaluation of livestock health, treatments and cattle movements as required, feeding and watering arrangements and recording of actions.

Fourteen crew were assigned to cattle care duties per shift and two nightwatch persons were on duty from midnight until 6.00am.

Feed and water

Feed pellets were piped across to each deck and to all pens and water was supplied automatically into watering troughs.

The livestock were fed pellets three times each day at 7.30am, 10.30am 1.30pm. Chaff was fed at and 1.30pm each day. In addition, a top up feed was provided at 10.30pm. Chaff was fed twice on first and last days of the voyage. No issues were noted with feeding or water supply to the cattle.

Ventilation

The MV Dareen has a total of 9 decks. The 4 upper decks have open sides. The 5 lower enclosed decks have permanent ducted ventilation which is adequate on Decks 1, 2 and 3. Additional fans and ducted chutes were added on Decks 4 and 5 for the voyage.

When the weather conditions became hot and humid on this voyage, the stockperson reduced the stocking density on Decks 4 and 5 to improve health and welfare conditions and prevent heat stress. As noted above, the ventilation on Decks 4 and 5 was considered less than optimum when hot and humid conditions were encountered.

Temperature recordings were taken each day.

Pen conditions

Pen washing commenced on day 7 and it took 2 days to wash all the decks. Deck washing continued as the sea swell rose due to the tail end of a typhoon that was approximately 320 kilometers from the vessel’s location.

Health and welfare

When the pen washdown was completed, the stock were washed with sea water. The observer noted the cool sea water had a calming effect on the cattle as well as assisting to heal cuts and abrasions and improved the welfare of the cattle more generally.

Hospital pens were used on all decks to separate and assist in the treatment of various conditions including lameness, injuries and pneumonia.

The observer noted that cattle identified as being unwell were given immediate treatment. The stockperson maintained records of treatments and location on vessel. Of the 15 mortalities, 13 cattle showed symptoms consistent with pneumonia, and 2 animals were euthanased because of recumbency at the end of the voyage.

No adverse animal welfare issues were noted during the voyage.

Discharge

Discharge of the cattle was prolonged as the trucks transporting the cattle were relatively small and the round trip to the feedlot and back to the port took around 14 hours. Each truck could transport 22 head per trip.

Conclusion

The voyage was well supervised by the head stockperson and no animal welfare issues were noted despite some rough sea conditions encountered.

Last reviewed: 28 November 2019
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