Animals' Angels special investigation into animal transport from Australia to the Philippines

September – November 2003:
Animals’ Angels teams were successful in investigating numerous water vessels used to transport Australian cattle from Australia to the Philippines!

Vessel: MV Dealco 1
2669 Brahman Cross Steers
Voyage of 5 days from Darwin (Australia) to General Santos City (Philippines)
Exporter: Central Pacific Livestock, Nedlands, WA

Vessel: MV Dealco 1
2200 Brahman Cross Steers
Voyage 7 days from Darwin (Australia) to Manila (Philippines)
Exporter: Central Pacific Livestock, Nedlands, WA

Vessel: MV Dealco 1
2308 Brahman Cross Steers
Voyage 7 days from Darwin (Australia) to Manila (Philippines)
Exporter: Central Pacific Livestock, Nedlands, WA

Vessel: MV Friesian Express
2200 Brahman Cross Steers
Voyage 3 days from Darwin (Australia) to General Santos (Philippines)
Exporter: Central Pacific Livestock, Nedlands, WA

Vessel: MV Janet 1
2084 feeder cattle
Voyage 11 days from Santo (Vanuatu) to General Santos (Philippines)
Exporter: South East Asian Livestock Services, Darwin, NT

Vessel: MV Alnilam Prima
2738 Brahman Cross feeder cattle
Voyage 3 days from Darwin (Australia) to General Santos (Philippines)
Exporter: Australia Rural Exports, Brisbane

Our investigators took pictures and extensive video footage inside the vessels and during unloading procedures and reloading on the trucks to the Philippine feedlots. Sometimes the handling of the animals was more cruel, sometimes less cruel, but in all cases the transport vehicles (both the water vessels and the trucks) were unsuitable and overcrowded.

The MV Friesian Express is especially designed to carry livestock. The journey was the shortest, the animals were adequately cared for, and the water, food and ventilation were reasonable. There were hospital pens on all decks available. But even here the lower decks were hot and the air smelled of ammoniac.

The MV Alnilam Prima seemed reasonably suitable for carrying livestock, but not as good as the Frisian Express. The animals appeared undernourished and when given food before unloading they ate ravenously. One animal seemed to be ill and was trampled by the others. According to our calculations, the pens were overcrowded. Not all animals were able to lie down at the same time.

The MV Dealco seemed completely unsuitable for livestock transport. The animals down on the 4th and 5th level were suffering from extensive heat and high ammoniac levels. In some places the faeces reached 4 inches high. This vessel transported on one trip 2669 cattle, and was extremely over-crowded. Even with “only” 2200 animals the vessel was overcrowded. The animals in no way had any comfort during this long voyage on the MV Dealco vessel.

MV Janet 1 made her first voyage from Vanuatu, which we understand is an independent state. We included it into our investigations because the exporter is from Australia and Janet 1 operates quite frequently from Australian harbours. This ship was the worst. After 11 days the animals were desperately thirsty and hungry. The heavy weight bulls had to lie down in their own fecies and were in completely overcrowded conditions.

Both vessels - MV Dealco and Janet 1 - should be outlawed.

Our investigators were able to photocopy some paperwork regarding these transports:

Mortality Reports signed by the captain- usually they do not state the cause of death, but in one case broken legs were given as a reason.

List of Port of Call of the three vessels is very interesting, because it gives a clear impression how frequently these vessels operate and where from Australia they usually leave for different destinations.

Australian Health Certificates - these were very interesting because they are signed by two veterinarians: Dr. Richard Morton and Dr. Robert Harmata. In our opinion these health certificates raise a lot of questions. Some animals did not have eartags, whereas with others the numbers can be clearly identified.

What you can do to help:

Please write to the
Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry Australia
Animal and Plant Health
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

demanding that the two vessels, MV Dealco and Janet 1 be put on the black list and banned from transporting livestock. The voyage, which is already long and stressful for the animals, causes further suffering because of the lack of adequate space, ventilation and food and water in these two old boats. If Australia insists on continuing their live animal export business, then the least they can do is ensure that the vessels used to carry their animals are modern and designed to provide a minimum level of well-being



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