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Reloaded cattle enroute to Indonesia from Darwin

Beef Central, 10/10/2023

More than 2000 cattle that were aboard a vessel that experienced an engine room fire soon after departing Darwin last week have been successfully reloaded onto another ship which is now sailing to Indonesia.

The Brahman Express was just underway from Darwin with 3600 cattle last Wednesday when the engine room fire was detected.

The fire was extinguished promptly, with no injuries to crew or livestock.

The Vroon-owned vessel returned to Port on Friday in liaison with the relevant authorities including AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) and DAFF (Federal Department of Agriculture).

While the ship’s fodder, water and ventilation systems remained operational after the fire, it was decided that the cattle would be unloaded on Saturday, on AMSA’s advice.

DAFF then approved arrangements for more than 2000 head to be re-loaded onto another livestock vessel, the Galloway Express, alongside at the East Arm Wharf, which sailed on Sunday.

The remaining cattle have been transported to a local export quarantine facility, where they will remain subject to DAFF biosecurity controls and monitoring until they are exported.

NTLEA chairman Ken Vowles, a former NT Minister for Primary Industries, said the efforts of members including the relevant exporters and export yard operators, the shipping company, road transporters, stevedores and also the Darwin Port helped to ensure a good outcome.

“The professionalism of the many parties involved has been second to none,” he said.

“This extends to the government representatives who have worked together with industry to map-out the necessary regulatory steps to achieve the weekend’s successful discharge, all of which was supervised by Commonwealth and NT Government vets.

“There are many contingencies and protocols in place throughout the livestock export supply chain which act as a safety net to deal with any number of situations which might arise, including at sea as we’ve seen in the past week.

“This has been a wonderful team effort, with everyone involved united by the non-negotiable priorities of ensuring the welfare of the cattle and the ship’s crew, while protecting Australia’s biosecurity.”

Details on when the Brahman Express will be repaired and ready to sail were not available at the time of publication.


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