Report 80: MV Galloway Express - Cattle and buffalo exported to Indonesia in February 2019
Cattle exported to Vietnam in January 2019
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A consignment of 3,610 cattle and 204 buffalo were loaded onto the MV Galloway Express at the Port of Darwin between 10 and 11 February 2019. The vessel departed on 11 February 2019. The vessel discharged the livestock at Panjang, Indonesia, on 16 February 2019, making this a 7 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 0.02% (1 mortality) and the buffalo was 0.49% (1 mortality). These do not exceed the reportable mortality rate. The causes of these mortalities were not considered to be linked to any systemic failure by the exporter.
The following comments represent a summary of key observations and has been approved by the observer who accompanied the voyage.
Independent Observations of the implementation of procedures to ensure health and welfare of livestock
Exporter arrangements were available to address procedures relating to livestock management from loading through to discharge and contingencies.
The livestock were loaded quite close to the load plan. The pen densities were adjusted in the first 24 hours once the cattle were settled and rested overnight and densities were considered more than adequate.
The LiveCorp Accredited Stockperson (stockperson) who accompanied the voyage had worked on livestock vessels for many years. The observer noted that the stockperson was highly competent and had animal welfare as their number one priority.
The master had overall responsibility for the vessel, the livestock and all personnel. The master was not observed on the cargo holds. The bosun supervised the crew and responded to any concerns regarding feeding, cleanliness of feed and water in a timely manner. The master and the Chief Officer (CO) interacted very well with the stockperson and the observer.
A management meeting was held each day at 10:00am and was attended by the CO, bosun, stockperson and the observer. The topics of discussion included fodder schedules, overnight issues, feed and water usage, temperature observations and any other potential issues.
The crew commenced their morning feeding, watering and cleaning routine around 7:00am with all crew on deck. Feeding and watering usually took around 3 – 4 hours with crew members assigned to each deck. The stockperson advised the crew of the feeding plan for the day and any issues that needed to be addressed.
Two crew members were assigned to each night watch shift. The four hour shifts started at 4:00pm on a rotational basis. Livestock were not provided additional feed at night. The duties of the night watch crew was to ensure the feed and water troughs were clean, replace displaced troughs, monitor sick or injured animals and report unwell animals to the stockperson. The observer conducted random overnight observations and no issues were noted.
Feed and water
The livestock were fed pellets twice a day at 7:00am and 3:30pm. The feed and water troughs were cleaned prior to filling in the morning and afternoon. At 10:00 am the livestock were provided with a top up of pellets and a feed of chaff every second day.
Fresh drinking water was produced by reverse osmosis. The water supplied to the livestock was tested each day for salinity. The livestock were seen consuming the water and there were no dehydrated cattle observed at the end of the voyage. There were two water bowls attached to each pen and a trough that was manually filled throughout the voyage. No issues were noted by the observer with the water supply. All livestock had adequate access to feed troughs whilst on board the vessel.
All five decks were enclosed on the vessel. The ventilation system consisted of large PVC ducts which adequately supplied fresh air flow for 100% of the voyage. There were grates on each level with open portals on the deck which allowed hot air to dissipate. The ventilation was sufficient to assist with keeping the pads in good condition. No heat stress was observed.
The temperature readings were taken once each day at approximately 9:00am. Temperatures recorded were around 28°C and 77% humidity during the entire voyage.
No wash down of the pens was performed because of the short duration of the voyage. The pads were generally dry and provided good cushioning for the cattle. When pads did become wet, the stockperson advised the crew to add sawdust. No excessively wet pens were observed during the voyage. The buffalo were occasionally lightly sprayed with water. Sawdust was always added to the buffalo pens to assist with keeping the pads dry. Uneaten pellets were emptied into the pens to assist with keeping the pens dry.
Health and welfare
The stockperson completed a minimum of two meticulous inspections daily.
Treatments for slight lameness were administered to a small number of cattle which recovered and were discharged from the vessel without issue. All treatments were administered in a timely manner.
During the voyage, there was 1 cattle mortality. A post mortem was conducted and the cause of death was attributed to severe enteritis. There was 1 buffalo mortality at the port of arrival. A post mortem was not conducted and the cause of death was not determined.
The observer noted that the discharge of the livestock was performed with minimal stress on the animals. The ramps were not slippery and had sawdust laid to provide cushioning. While the discharge occurred, stock handlers from the receiving company ensured that clean feed and water was supplied to the cattle until they were on loaded onto trucks.
The stockperson was professional and very vigilant in ensuring that the crew were informed of what was required and that the crew completed their duties appropriately 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.