Report 58: MV Ocean Ute - Cattle exported to Indonesia in December 2018

Cattle exported to Indonesia in December 2018


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 5,439 cattle for 3 exporters was loaded onto the MV Ocean Ute at Darwin on 27 December 2018 and departed in the evening. The vessel discharged the cattle at Panjang, Indonesia, between 3 and 4 January 2019, making this a 9 day voyage.

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

The mortality rate for the cattle was 0.02% (1 mortality). This does not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The cause of this 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. This summary has been approved by the observer who accompanied this voyage.

Independent Observations of the 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 observer noted there were no issues with the loading of the cattle. Any tight pens were loosened up in the first 24 hours of the voyage.


The two experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stockpersons (stockpersons) that accompanied the voyage had worked on livestock vessels for a number of years. The management of the health and welfare of the cattle was their top priority.

The master had overall responsibility for the vessel, personnel and livestock. The bosun supervised the crew and responded to any concerns regarding cleanliness, feed and water in a timely manner. The crew required minimal supervision when carrying out their daily duties.

Daily routine

A management meeting was held each day and was attended by the Chief Officer (CO), bosun, stockpersons and the observer to discuss feeding schedules, water, potential issues, temperature observation and any issues identified overnight. The crew commenced morning feeding at 7:00am.

There were two night watch crew on duty from 4:00pm to 08:00am that worked on rotation every 4 hours. The night watch crew ensured feed and water troughs were clean, monitored the cattle and identified and reported any sick or injured animals to the stockperson.

Feed and water

Cattle had access to two water bowls in each pen. No manual watering occurred during the voyage. Water was tested for salinity daily.

Cattle were observed to feed well from the first day of the voyage. Cattle were fed in the morning and chaff was fed out intermittently throughout the voyage and was received well by the cattle.

The observer noted that there were no issues with feed and water supply or management during the voyage.


Temperature readings were taken daily. The average temperatures on the decks during the voyage were 31-32°C dry bulb and 29°C wet bulb and 82% humidity. Grates and vents ensured a constant flow of air throughout the decks. The observer noted that two of the decks had one row of vents whereas the rest of the vessel had two, however, no signs of heat stress was observed in the cattle.

Pen conditions

No wash down of pens was required due to the short duration of the voyage. Pads were generally dry and provided adequate cushioning for cattle. A number of wet pads were observed due to a water leak. By the time the observer notified the stockperson, the crew had rectified the issue by adding sawdust to manage the moisture.

Health and welfare

The observer did not note any issues with animal health and welfare. The observer commented that the stockpersons and crew were vigilant regarding their duties and that animal health and welfare was a priority.

There was one mortality on this voyage. The animal was euthanised after not responding to treatment.


The observer did not note any issues with discharge. Cattle were fed and watered throughout the discharge process.


No animal welfare issues were observed during the voyage.

The exporter arrangements were observed to be implemented during the voyage and to be compliant with Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 requirements.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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