Unloading of the Nine Eagle commenced at Darwin’s East Arm Wharf on Sunday evening after the livestock vessel was directed to be unloaded by the Federal Department of Agriculture.
The cattle (see earlier article below) were returned to export yards near Darwin for quarantine and will remain there under shipping arrangements are confirmed.
A spokesperson from the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry issued the following statement to Beef Central this morning:
“A live export vessel loaded with cattle suffered a major engine failure in Darwin Harbour on 15 May 2023.
“The department immediately established an incident management team that has monitored developments and met daily since 16 May 2023 (including weekends).
- The welfare of the cattle on board and protecting Australia’s biosecurity remain the department’s top priorities.
- The cattle have been inspected daily by departmental vets, in addition to ongoing monitoring by the exporter.
- The cattle remain in good health.
- A biosecurity risk assessment has been completed to support the cattle being unloaded.
“The department has been working closely with the exporter, and it now appears that the sourcing of parts to repair the engine is going to take longer than anticipated.
“In order to ensure the ongoing welfare of the livestock, the cattle are currently being unloaded and they are being transported to a pre-export Quarantine Facility where they will remain subject to biosecurity control until they can be exported.
“The department will continue monitoring the cattle and working closely with the exporter and local authorities on a daily basis until the situation is resolved.”
A decison on whether an anchored livestock vessel carrying 1800 cattle in Darwin Harbour will have to be unloaded or can be repaired and resume its journey is expected in coming days after after mechanical issues prevented its departure for Indonesia last week.
Livestock Shipping Services vessel the Nine Eagle was loaded with cattle and due to sail for Indonesia last Monday, May 15, when it experienced a major engine failure.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has told Beef Central that the cattle on board are in good health and no welfare concerns have been raised.
They said the department immediately established an incident management team which has monitored developments and met daily since the mechanical malfunction occurred early last week.
“The welfare of the cattle on board and protecting Australia’s biosecurity remain the department’s top priorities.
“The cattle have been inspected daily by departmental vets, in addition to ongoing monitoring by the exporter.
“A biosecurity risk assessment has been completed in the event the cattle need to be unloaded.
“The department will continue monitoring the cattle and working closely with the exporter, AMSA and local authorities on a daily basis until the situation is resolved.
“The vessel is currently sourcing parts to repair the engine and a final repair date is yet to be established.”
The Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association said the welfare of cattle on board is being closely monitored by industry and Government veterinarians and officials.
“While the exporter has been working in recent days with the ship owner and relevant authorities to undertake the necessary mechanical repairs, the welfare of the livestock on board has been the most important priority,” NTLEA CEO Tom Dawkins said in a statement to media.
“In these circumstances, with the provision of extra fodder as needed, and access to water, adequate pen spacing and the supervision of the livestock crew and extra monitoring by commonwealth vets, the best outcome for the animals right now is to remain on the vessel.
“Contingencies for the potential unloading of the cattle and returning them to quarantine yards are being mapped out and will be undertaken in co-operation with commonwealth and NT authorities if the need arises.”
A decision on whether the ship can be repaired with cattle on board and resume its journey, or will need to be unloaded, is expected soon.
In comments to the NT News, LSS export manager Paul Keenan said “animal welfare was the number one priority”.
“The vessel is fully loaded and the welfare of the animals on board is our number one priority and federal department of agriculture vets have been inspecting the cattle daily and we are in constant communication with the department of agriculture fisheries and forestry about the situation on board,” he said.
“This is in addition to accredited LSS stockhands and vessel crew onboard that are trained in managing animals.
“We are working through all possible scenarios including the possibility of discharging the cattle if repairs cannot be done in the next few days.”
He said the focus for LSS and the commonwealth now is on ensuring the welfare of the cattle on board.
Great ! Permission to Load was garnered from where? In all my days, this could Never have happened. Australian Quarantine would Not have allowed this. AMSA have the call, to AQIS Prior.
I would like to comment ( not related to above )on the new budget measure to increase levie paied by the vendor to fund BIOSECURITY
We are tring to keep DISEASE out of Australia so this cost should be funded by ANY IMPORT STREAM ,ship containers ect look at the Fire Ant issue wasnt our stuffup
Garrey INJUNE QLD
It should be repaired as soon as possible or unloaded back from the ship 🚢 🤔
Why is ‘live’ export so necessary?
A couple of quick points, the NT more or less cannot process them. (meatworks/ not many people in the NT will not help) being able to source feed to lot feed them.
Many in Indonesia will not have the ability to put the meat in a fridge/ freezer. (so frozen/chilled meat will not work in all situations) this one is becoming less of an issue now days but is still there.
The meat is often cut in the market as per requested by customers.
Cattle coming off a station may not suit the markets as is (my understanding is they go in to feedlots in Indonesia )
it should be noted the cattle that originate from Australia are in a closed supply chain until they are killed. (yes some can slip though and have done so in the past it is a work in progress)
In an ideal world the cattle would be processed in Australia as it would value add, I should note if memory serves me correctly it is also a major pain to import short shelf life foods into Indonesia.(meat, milk fresh foods)
While not an extensive list hopefully it helps show why it is not easy to replace it. (also if they don’t come from the NT it is likely they will come from further places like Brazil )
For heaven’s sake, let those poor animals off the vessel. This is just another example of why the live export trade must stop.
Keith Rendel your post is a great example of why people should not comment on things they know nothing about!
Well said Wallace