Report 39: MV Girolando Express - Cattle exported to Indonesia in November 2018

Cattle exported to Indonesia in November 2018


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3,353 cattle were loaded onto the MV Girolando Express at the port of Darwin on 21 November 2018. The cattle were unloaded at the port of Jakarta, Indonesia, on 28 November 2019, making this an 8 day voyage.

The mortality rate for cattle was 0.05% (two mortalities).

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 causes of the mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporter.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations from the independent observer (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

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.


All pens were numbered and the LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) was able to move cattle around as he saw fit with relative ease. Livestock were loaded in accordance with the stowage plan. Hospital pens were not used to hold healthy cattle during the voyage.


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

The Master had overall responsibility for the vessel, all personnel and livestock. The crew included an experienced stockperson who had worked on livestock vessels for many years and had welfare of the cattle as their highest priority.  The Master interacted very well with the Stockperson.

The bosun supervised the crew and responded to any concerns of feed and water in a timely manner.

Daily routine

A daily meeting was held every day at 10:00am and involved the Chief Officer (CO), stockperson, bosun and the observer. At the meeting, feeding schedules, potential issues, feed and water consumption and temperature observation were discussed.

The stockperson worked from 5:00am until 4:00pm and was available at night. The crew commenced the morning feeding, watering and cleaning routine around 7:00am with all deck crew on hand. The morning rounds normally took 3 –4 hours. Minimal supervision of the crew was required for routine daily duties.

Two members were assigned to night shift duties between 6:00pm and 6:00am. The role of the night watch person was to ensure that feed and water were clean, displaced feed buckets were replaced and that any sick or injured cattle were monitored and reported to the stockperson. No overnight issues were noted during the observer’s random observations.

Feed and water

Feed troughs and water bowls were cleaned daily. The cattle were fed pellets that were fed at the pre-export holding facility.

The water was tested daily for salinity. The cattle readily drank the water. There were two water bowls for each pen. Water was also supplied by troughs alongside the feed troughs.  No issues were noted with the feed and water provision for the cattle.


The ventilation ducts located on the roof provided a constant flow of air throughout each deck. There were also grates on each level with allowed hot air to dissipate out the decks. No issues with ventilation were noted.

The temperature readings were taken once per day on the five decks at approximately 10:00am.

Pen conditions

As this voyage was relatively short duration of seven nights, the pens were not washed or cleaned during the voyage. The pads were generally dry and provided good cushioning for the cattle.

If the pad did become wet, the stockperson advised the crew to add sawdust. Some pens were wet towards the end of discharge.

Health and welfare

Only one animal was admitted to hospital pen during the voyage due to an injury during loading. Treatment was administered and the animal made a full recovery.

There were two mortalities on board the vessel. The first mortality was found on day 3 with no obvious signs of trauma and the cause of death attributed at post mortem was pneumonia. The second mortality was noted during discharge and no cause of death was established.


The discharge of the cattle was supervised by the stockperson and appeared to be performed with minimal stress. The ramps were not slippery and had sawdust laid to provide cushioning.

The crew and stock handlers continued to provide services to the cattle. Feed and clean water were available to the cattle until they were removed from the vessel.


The stockperson had animal welfare as the highest priority and was vigilant in ensuring that the crew were informed of what was required and ensuring that the crew completed their tasks appropriately. Overall it was a very successful voyage with no animal welfare issues observed.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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