Report 85: MV Ocean Ute - Cattle exported to Indonesia in February 2019

Cattle exported to Indonesia in February 2019


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Voyage summary

A consignment of 6,036 cattle were loaded onto the MV Ocean Ute at the Port of Townsville on 20 February 2019 and departed in the evening. The first discharge was at the Port of Jakarta, Indonesia between 1 and 2 March 2019. The second discharge was at the Port of Panjang, Indonesia on 4 March 2019, making this a 13 day voyage.

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

There were no mortalities during this voyage.

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 documentation

Exporter voyage instructions relating to the care and management of the livestock during the voyage were made available, as were relevant specific management plans.


Loading was conducted over a 12 hour period. Sawdust was spread in each pen prior to loading and the cattle were loaded into pens in accordance with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (Version 2.3) 2011 (ASEL) stocking density requirements. The observer noted that no pens were overstocked.


Two experienced LiveCorp Accredited Stock persons (stockpersons) accompanied the voyage who had a genuine care for the welfare of the livestock. The stockpersons constantly monitored the cattle and looked for signs of lameness or injuries and ensured there was substantial feed and water provided at all times.

The observer found the livestock crew members and the stockpersons were professional and very vigilant in ensuring that the ASEL requirements were followed.

Daily routine

A management meeting was held each day at around 10:00am and was attended by the Chief Officer (CO), bosun, stockperson and the observer. Topics discussed included ASEL requirements, feed and water management, cattle welfare issues and other issues that arose from the previous day.

The stockpersons were observed constantly monitoring the welfare of the cattle throughout the day as well as during the night watch period.

The livestock crew worked a 6 hour rotating schedule, over 24 hours, where they monitored the cattle for injuries, checked the supply of water and feed and cleared the alleyways.

The observer verified that the night watch duties including checking water levels and feed, removing faeces from feed troughs and water bowls and refilling the water bowls were completed.

Feed and water

The cattle were fed 4 times each day with the first feed at 7:00am, a top up feed at 10:30am, a chaff feed at 1:30pm and the final full trough feed at 3:30pm.

On some occasions the stockpersons found that the water and feed levels were low and advised the bosun and crew to monitor feed and water more closely.

No issues were noted by the observer with the feed and water supply.


The ventilation system consisted of ducted air supplied directly to each pen. The observer noted there were no issues with the ventilation during the voyage. The fact that the pens dried quickly after the wash down demonstrated that the ventilation system was functioning effectively.

Temperature readings were taken at various times each day and ranged from 31 - 33°C dry bulb, 29 – 31°C wet bulb and humidity of 79 – 86%.

Pen conditions

Pad management was monitored daily by the stockpersons and the bosun. All pens had sawdust scattered on the floor at the time of loading in Townsville.

The stockperson decided to have a wash down due to the build-up of faeces in the pens. The upper three decks were completed on the first wash day and the lower four decks were washed on the second wash day. The observer noted that the pens dried over the following 24 hours due to the nature of the good ventilation of the pens. After the wash, sawdust was scattered in the hospital pens for the comfort of the lame cattle.

Health and welfare

During the voyage 5 cattle were identified as lame and were shifted to the hospital pens and were provided treatment. The cattle responded to the treatment and were discharged in Indonesia.

There was no heat stress observed in the cattle during the voyage and no issues that affected animal welfare were noted by the observer.


The discharge process was supervised by the stockpersons and undertaken by the crew and the stock handlers from the receiving company. The crew and the stock handlers from the receiving company and the additional personnel hired by the exporter continued to feed and ensure water was supplied until the cattle were moved to the trucks. There were no issues during the discharge and the process was undertaken professionally and resulted in good animal welfare outcomes.


The observer found the livestock crew members and the stockpersons were professional and vigilant in ensuring that ASEL requirements were met while undertaking their duties in animal husbandry.

The exporter arrangements were observed to be implemented during the voyage and to be compliant with ASEL requirements.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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