The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority continue to investigate the circumstances that forced a livestock export vessel loaded with 4237 cattle to return to port soon after departing last Wednesday.
The MV Jawan left Portland for Oman and Pakistan last on Wednesday, November 21, but experienced stability issues shortly into the voyage and returned to the port the following morning, Thursday, November 22.
The vessel was filmed rocking from side to side on its return to the port.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority detained the vessel on Friday November 23 based on concerns about the vessel’s seaworthiness arising from its motion.
380 cattle were unloaded from the vessel and returned to the feedlot on Friday, and are now under the control and monitoring of the DEDJTR.
An AMSA spokesperson said a reassessment by the vessel’s classification society indicated that removing these cattle would improve the vessel’s stability.
The Jawan sailed again on Saturday but the vessel motion was reported as still being unusual. The vessel returned to the berth and was detained again by AMSA.
A further 400 head of livestock have since been removed from the vessel.AMSA said on Monday afternoon it is still working with the vessel’s classification society, technical experts and the vessel operators to determine how the issues can be resolved.It said it will not permit the vessel to depart Australia until satisfied that it is safe.
“If the stability of the vessel cannot be guaranteed to the satisfaction of AMSA and DAWR, the conditions of export will not be met and the animals will be removed from the vessel,” a spokesperson said.
A Department of Agriculture and Water Resources spokesperson said the deparmtent has been working closely with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), the Port of Portland, the vessel operators and the exporters involved to ensure safety of the vessel, the welfare of the animals and that biosecurity is maintained.
A DAWR statement said a department veterinary officer had inspected the cattle on board, finding no health and welfare issues, although there had been one mortality, unrelated to the stability issues experienced by the vessel.
The DAWR said there is an Australian Government-Accredited Veterinarian was on board the MV Jawan and continuing to monitor the health and welfare of the cattle on board.
The DAWR said it will be conducting a full investigation of the circumstances leading to the departure and return to port of the vessel.
Beef Central understands the vessel is currently chartered to a Perth-based exporting company named Atlas Exports, but was unable to contact the exporter involved at the time of publishing this article.