Report 66: MV Greyman Express - Cattle exported to Indonesia in January 2019

​Independent Observer summary report on MV Greyman Express

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Voyage summary

A consignment of 3558 cattle was loaded onto the MV Greyman Express at the Port of Darwin on 17 and 18 January 2019. The MV Greyman Express was unloaded in Jakarta, Indonesia on 22 and 23 January 2019 making this a seven day voyage.

An independent observer (observer) boarded the vessel at Darwin and remained on board until completion of discharge.
The mortality rate for the cattle was 0.03% (one mortality).

The mortality rate does not exceed the reportable mortality level as stated in the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL). The cause of the 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 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.

Loading

All walkways and ramps were covered in sawdust prior to loading. The cattle were loaded without incident and were in reasonable condition. In general, the livestock were loaded according to the load plan. During the journey, adjustments to the number of cattle in some pens was made to ensure stocking densities were satisfactory and in accordance with ASEL requirements.

Personnel

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

The Master had overall responsibility for the vessel, the livestock and all personnel. The Master is very experienced at working on livestock vessels. Fifteen crew members delivered livestock services that included feeding, watering, cleaning tasks and caring for the livestock. The bosun and crew appeared to be experienced and competent when working with the cattle.

The crew included an experienced LiveCorp Accredited stockperson (stockperson) who had worked on livestock vessels for many years.  The stockperson provided appropriate care and management of all livestock whilst on the vessel.

Daily routine

A meeting was held every day with the Chief Officer and stockperson. The topics of discussion at the meeting included fodder calculations, daily reports, and instructions regarding the welfare of the cattle.

The stockperson inspected all five decks of livestock in the morning and afternoon. The stockperson’s responsibilities included ensuring the cattle had satisfactory food, water, ventilation and appropriate pen conditions.

The crew worked a four hour night watch shift and the duties included checking the water bowls, monitoring the welfare of the cattle and updating the officer on watch. The observer verified night watch activities during the voyage.

Feed and water

Pellets were held in two large silos. The vessel feeding system moved the pellets to each deck and the crew manually transferred the fodder from the chutes to the pen troughs.

The cattle were fed pellets twice a day at 7.00am and 3.30pm. Chaff was fed to all pens at various times. All livestock had adequate access to feed troughs whilst on board the vessel.

Fresh drinking water was produced by reverse osmosis. Water is supplied in nose bowls in the corners of all pens. Water is supplied by two automatically filling water bowls per pen. On the occasion a bowl becomes soiled, the crew promptly cleaned and refreshed the bowl. During the voyage, the water bowls were rinsed and sanitised by the crew and night watch person routinely every four hours.

Ventilation

All five decks are enclosed on the MV Greyman Express. The ventilation system functioned quietly, consistently and normally during the voyage. The hatch covers on the main deck were always open and allowed for cool morning and evening breeze to flow into the below decks.

The temperature readings were taken once per day at 10.00am using a whirling hygrometer.

Pen conditions

For most of the voyage, pads remained dry. Fodder and chaff that was not consumed or spilt into the walkways was emptied into the pens to assist with keeping the pads dry. No wash down of the pens was performed because of the short duration of the voyage.

Health and welfare

During the voyage, there was one downer steer which was isolated in a hospital pen with sawdust for bedding. There was no apparent injury or illness. The steer was unresponsive to the care and treatments and was euthanised. No other injuries or illness were noted during the voyage.

Discharge

The vessel and crew were very well prepared for discharge. Fresh sawdust was applied to walkways and ramps to prevent slipping as part of the preparation. The livestock were unloaded from the vessel without incident with the health and welfare of livestock maintained throughout the process. Overall, the discharge was done in a timely manner.

Conclusion

The loading, voyage and discharge processes and procedures were well maintained and in accordance with ASEL requirements. The Master, officers and livestock crew worked well together to maintain a high standard of animal welfare.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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