Report 49: MV Greyman Express - Cattle exported to Vietnam in December 2018

Cattle exported to Vietnam in December 2018

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Voyage summary

A consignment of 2,534 cattle were loaded onto the MV Greyman Express at the port of Darwin on 10 December 2018. The cattle were discharged at the port of Hai Phong, Vietnam on 17 and 18 December 2019, making this a 9 day voyage.

The mortality rate for cattle was 0.07% (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, including contingencies.

Loading

The observer noted the livestock were loaded in accordance with the load plan. Pen sizes are noted on each pen and the numbers against the load plan were easy to check. Any tight pens had stocking density reduced within the first 24 hours. Cattle were able to be moved around with relative ease after loading. Any pens that were considered to contain a higher stocking density were adjusted as required. A couple of hospital pens were opened to hold healthy cattle to allow for more room, though this was not a necessity as stocking density was compliant. Cattle could be easily transferred out of pens if they were required for sick or injured cattle.

Personnel

The consignment was accompanied by an experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) who had worked on livestock vessels for many years and was responsible for the implementation of exporter arrangements to manage the health and welfare of the animals.

The bosun supervised the crew and responded to any concerns regarding feeding, cleanliness of feed and water in a timely manner. There was good interaction between the master and the stockperson.

Daily routine

A daily meeting was held each day at 11:30am and involved the chief officer (CO), stockperson, bosun and the observer. At the meeting, feeding schedules, feed and water consumption, overnight issues and temperature observations were discussed.

The stockperson worked from 6:00am until 5:00pm and was on call at night. Each morning, the stockperson advised the crew of the feeding plan for the day and any issues that needed addressing. 

The crew commenced the morning feeding, watering and cleaning routine at around 7:00am. Crew were assigned to each deck and completed the task between 10:00am and 11:00am.

Two crew members were assigned to night shift duties between 6:00pm and 6:00am, each doing a six hour shift. The night watch person ensured 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 throughout the voyage, with and chaff fed intermittently.

The water was tested daily for salinity. The cattle readily drank the water. There were 2 water bowls for each pen. Water was also supplied by troughs alongside the feed troughs. No issues were noted with the feed and water for the cattle.

Ventilation

No issues with ventilation were noted. The ventilation ducts located on the roof provided a constant flow of air throughout each deck.

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

Pen conditions

As this voyage was relatively short in duration, the pens were not washed or cleaned during the voyage. The pads were generally dry. If the pad did become wet, the stockperson advised the crew to add sawdust. Pellets that were not consumed were emptied into the pens to assist with keeping the pads dry. When emptying water from the troughs, the crew were diligent in collecting the waste water and disposing of the water so that the pad did not get wet.

Health and welfare

There were 2 mortalities during the voyage. The cattle were regularly inspected to enable timely identification and treatment of sick animals. Seven cattle were treated for minor lameness but did not require hospitalisation.

Discharge

The discharge of cattle at the destination port was observed and appeared to be performed with minimal stress. The ramps were not slippery and had sawdust laid to provide cushioning.

The discharge of the cattle was supervised by the stockperson and undertaken by the crew and stock handlers from the receiving entity. The cattle continued to receive feed and water on the vessel until they were discharged. There were no issues noted during the discharge and it was undertaken professionally and with animal welfare as a priority.

Conclusion

Overall it was a very successful voyage with no animal welfare issues or signs of animal stress observed. The stockperson was professional and was very vigilant in ensuring the crew were informed of the exporter’s arrangements and that they were implemented during the voyage and to be compliant with ASEL requirements.




Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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