Report 8: MV Maysora - Sheep and cattle exported to Turkey in June 2018

Independent Observer summary report on MV Maysora

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Voyage summary

The MV Maysora has a total of 11 decks. The six below the main deck (Deck 7) are enclosed, with decks 7 to 11 being open.  The Maysora departed the Port of Fremantle on 31 May 2018 carrying a consignment of livestock with a total of 68 039 sheep and 3008 head of cattle to Turkey.

The final destination was Tekirdag, Turkey, where the consignment completed discharge on 21 June 2018.

The Independent Observer (IO) joined the vessel in Fremantle on the day of departure

The overall mortality rate for sheep was 0.23 per cent (155 mortalities) and zero cattle mortalities. This 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 on behalf of the exporter.

The following comments represent a summary of key observations from the IO from loading in Fremantle until discharge at the Port of Tekirdag, Turkey. The summary has been approved by the IO who accompanied this voyage.

Implementation of procedures to ensure health and welfare of livestock

Exporter documentation

The exporter Heat Stress Risk Assessment (HSRA) and load plan was submitted to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources prior to departure as required. An additional space requirement for animals was imposed on the sheep consignment of 17.5 per cent extra space. This was the first consignment that had left Australia with these extra sanctions after the McCarthy review in May 2018.

Loading

The livestock were loaded in Fremantle and were in acceptable body condition. Livestock were in general loaded onto the vessel in accordance with the load plan which was verified by the IO. Noting adjustments were made through the journey to ensure livestock pen densities were satisfactory. The IO did not observe anything that concerned them with respect to stocking density. They observed that with the new stocking densities there was actually a large amount of unoccupied space in most pens due to the animals tendency to mob together.  More than half of the stock in any pen were able to lie down at any one time.

Personnel

The Australian Government Accredited Veterinarian (AAV) is an experienced, practical and competent veterinarian who has a long history of working in the Australian and international livestock industry, both in the private and public sectors. They have worked almost exclusively for this exporter over the past 11 years on more than 90 long haul voyages and 20 short haul voyages, with an emphasis on the Middle East. There were two LiveCorp Accredited Stockmen on board. Both Stock people were experienced, capable and committed to the welfare of the sheep and cattle on this voyage.

The Master has been a ship’s captain on livestock vessels for six years and has been with this shipping company for 13 years. Before being appointed Master he was Chief Officer (CO) on the Maysora so has an intimate knowledge of the vessel. The Master has sailed on over 50 voyages carrying livestock from Australia and Uruguay servicing the Middle East (Turkey, Gulf, Iraq), China, Vietnam, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. The CO has his Master’s Certificate and is also very experienced in the delivery of livestock, particularly to the Middle East. Three crew are allocated to each sheep deck and two to each cattle deck. They are usually each allocated particular pens for the entire voyage. Their tasks include cleaning, feeding, bedding if required and washing of decks.  They all seemed to be hard working and diligent and were quiet and patient with the stock. The maximum number of people the IO was advised were allowed on board is 80. During this voyage there were 76, including the Observer.

Daily routine

Each day at 10.30 am there was a management meeting attended by the Master, Chief Officer, AAV, Stockperson and sometimes the Bosun (or Tindal) also attends if required. At these meetings the stockperson would initially report on general health and treatments, then the AAV would issue feeding instructions. On-board ship management operations were raised by the CO (i.e. deck wash plan) and then an update on trip status from the Master. An opportunity then rose to broach any issues. After the daily meeting the AAV would meet the CO to prepare the daily report.

Temperatures were taken on each deck with fixed hygrometers in place. The accuracy of these was regularly monitored by the AAV throughout the journey.

Feed and water

The requirement for feed was calculated based on a 20 day sailing time plus seven day contingency. There was a large amount of powdered feed left in stores from the previous voyage. The AAV instructed that this be removed as much as possible from troughs on each feeding and used to keep pens dry so that animals had access to pelletised feed. Feeding occurred twice daily in general but was subject to instruction from the AAV.

Potable water for the livestock is made on the vessel by two reverse osmosis units, each capable of producing 400 tons per day (800 mt total). The livestock system is separate from the system supplying the crew. The water for livestock is stored in a number of tanks around the vessel and total fresh water storage capacity for livestock is about 7,000 mt. Pressure for the water distribution is supplied by two hydrophor units that connect to automatically regulated troughs in each pen.

Ventilation

Patented and Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) approved ventilation system used. Extra fans were placed at all pens located within identified ‘hot spots’ of the ship carrying livestock. Observations were made of crew members walking into pens to ensure that air from the fans was being directed at the animals to maintain comfort.

The IO noted that only a certain percentage of sheep will be demonstrating certain panting scores within a pen at any given time.

Pen conditions

Pad conditions were constantly monitored and well maintained during the voyage. The wash plan, which is usually performed every four days on cattle decks wasn’t performed for the first time until day 8 of this voyage. This was due to the conditions being deemed acceptable at day 4 and day 6 and also an overloading of feed in fore compartments of the ship. The additional feed in the fore meant that the required trim for safe operation of the ship during washing could not be attained until after day 8.

Health and welfare

The IO did not note any health and welfare issues. The crew performed their duties to a high standard ensuring health and welfare of all livestock was maintained throughout the voyage.

Discharge

There were no noted problems with regards to the health and welfare of animals at discharge.

Conclusion

The IO determined that the relevant procedures relating to the management of livestock exported by sea were consistent with Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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