Over 100 Cattle Die on Voyage to Indonesia

March 26, 2024

Source: DAFF
Source: DAFF

Over 100 cattle have died after departing Australia on the Brahman Express. The vessel, built in 2002 and operated by Vroon, was destined for Indonesia.

This is one of the highest mortality rates reported on an Australian short haul cattle shipment, states Vets Against Live Export in a blog, which notes that the mortality rate of 7.69% on the GL Kaihou’s maiden voyage in 2017 is still likely to be higher. On the GL Kaihou, 95 cattle died after the vessel’s non-slip flooring was found to be ineffective.

The Australian Department of Agriculture (DAFF) stated that, prior to the departure of the Brahman Express, it undertook pre-export inspections to ensure that the livestock met requirements under the Export Control Act 2020 and importing-country requirements.

“There is no suggestion that exotic animal disease is involved. We are investigating the incident as per normal procedures and as a matter of priority. Australia remains free of exotic animal diseases such as lumpy skin disease and foot and mouth disease.”

The reference to these diseases comes after Indonesia detected lumpy skin disease in Australian cattle exported by sea last year. Indonesia subsequently suspended cattle imports from four Australian pre-export quarantine facilities. Investigators in Australia failed to find any evidence of the disease there, although the disease is present in Indonesia.

The Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC) has issued a statement on the Brahman Express deaths saying that efforts are underway to treat remaining animals that may be affected. “Prior to departure, all livestock loaded onto the vessel were assessed to be in good health and fit to load and were inspected by veterinarians.”

The deaths were self-reported by the exporter. The Australian government does not mandate that a veterinarian be onboard short haul voyages.

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