Report 54: MV Anna Marra - Cattle exported to Indonesia in December 2018

​Independent Observer summary report on MV Anna Marra


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Voyage summary

Three consignments for three exporters consisting of 15,314 cattle were loaded onto the MV Anna Marra in Darwin on 18 and 19 December 2018. The vessel departed on the evening of 19 December 2018. The first discharge port was Cilicap, Indonesia and the second discharge port was Panjang, Indonesia. The final discharge was completed at Jakarta, Indonesia on 30 December 2018 making this a 13 day voyage.

An independent observer (observer) boarded the vessel in Darwin and remained on board until completion of discharge.
The mortality rate for cattle was 0.05% (seven mortalities).

The mortality rate does not exceed the reportable level 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 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.


There were sufficient competent and experienced stockpersons and crew available to load the ship in a manner that minimised injury and minimised stress. However, two cattle escaped the loading ramp at the port and two others were injured and subsequently euthanised.

Based on a random sample of pens and ongoing observation during the voyage, the cattle were loaded in accordance with the load plan with a small number of minor discrepancies. However the pen density for the voyage met the ASEL requirements plus an extra 20% space. In approximately 95% of pens, 50% of the cattle were able to lie down at any one time.


The Master has overall responsibility for the vessel, personnel and livestock. The Master and Chief Officer (CO) were active in the daily meetings.

An Australian Government Accredited Veterinarian (AAV) was present on the voyage.

In addition to the AAV, the crew included three LiveCorp Accredited stockpersons (stockpersons). The three stockpersons oversaw a team of 33 persons who loaded, unloaded, fed, watered and cleaned troughs.

Daily routine

The AAV and stockpersons inspected the cattle daily and provided any necessary treatments for sick and injured cattle.

A meeting was held at 10.00am every day and discussed estimated time of arrival in the next port, route logistics and overarching management issues of the voyage. The Master, CO, vessel engineers, bosun, three stockpersons, AAV also attended the daily meeting.

Three experienced crew members performed night watch duties during each night of the voyage.

Feed and water

Feed and water were provided well within 12 hours of loading. Feeding was conducted daily from 7.00am to 10.00am and from 3.30 to 5.30pm each day. The observer noted that the cattle had access to adequate feed throughout the voyage.

The feed consumption was calculated each day by the AAV and CO and feed budgets revised if necessary to accommodate for potential delays of arrival or unloading.

Water was supplied by troughs and no water troughs were observed to be empty at any time. The vessel’s fitter routinely patrolled all decks to check for leaks to ensure water was available and to prevent excess water leaking into pens.


The enclosed decks were ventilated by ducted air and industrial fans. There were three or four fixed thermometers per deck which were read four times a day by the CO or his delegate.  Temperatures ranged between 26 - 33 degrees Celsius (C) dry bulb and 24 - 31 degrees C wet bulb with relative humidity averaged 85%. The observer noted the presence of a few locations on the vessel that had higher temperatures but there was no evidence of heat stress in any cattle.

Pen conditions

The manure pad gradually built up during the voyage and changed from dry crumbly consistency to a moist, boggy appearance. The pen condition did not adversely affect their health or welfare. There was no wash down of the pens during the voyage.

Health and welfare

Hospital pens were available on each deck and kept specifically for sick or injured cattle. There were sufficient veterinary drugs and equipment on board.

There were seven mortalities on the voyage. Six mortalities were due to trauma or lameness. One further animal was identified as unwell and treated but was euthanised because it was unresponsive to medication.

The AAV, stockpersons and crew displayed competency throughout the voyage. Sufficient number of experienced staff were on board to feed water and manage the cattle. Sick or injured cattle were identified, isolated, treated or euthanised if required.

On day two of the voyage, it was noted that some of the heavy bulls could not access the feed and water troughs because of their size. Feed and water troughs were hung inside the pens in addition to the troughs outside the pen as remedial action.  One tall, horned steer also was unable access water in the troughs outside the pens. The remedial action was to provide a water trough on the inside the pen that held the steer.

One calf was born to a heifer on day 7 of the voyage despite the female cattle being identified as not pregnant. The heifer and the calf were placed in a hospital pen and provided care before disembarkation at Panjang.


The voyage route was altered by switching the order of last two discharge ports whilst the voyage was underway. Unloading was delayed for a day in Cilicap and a further day at Panjang. The vessel circled outside the port of Panjang to minimise exposure to potential adverse environmental conditions in the port.

The stockpersons and crew were observed using low stress handling methods to unload and move cattle around the vessel. The observer noted the cattle had a healthy vigour at unloading.


The ships master and officers worked well with the crew to deliver the cattle to the ports in good condition despite the extended length of the voyage.

Sufficient number of experienced staff were on board to feed, water, handle the cattle, identify unwell cattle, isolate and administer treatments. Overall livestock management practices were observed to meet the ASEL requirements.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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