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M/V Ocean Outback: a storm in a teacup

25 January 2016

Wellard is pleased to report that the M/V Ocean Outback has successfully discharged 5,607 cattle which arrived in good health and were transported to ESCAS-accredited feedlots in Vietnam this weekend.

The successful discharge of 5607 cattle represents a voyage success rate of 99.94%, which is well above the 99.0% minimum benchmark required by Government before an investigation is launched. With the inclusion of four mortalities prior to Wellard purchasing the cattle and sailing the vessel, the voyage success rate would be 99.87%.

“The results are in, and they prove that the many fanciful animal welfare claims made at the time of the vessel’s delayed departure were spurred by a political agenda without any knowledge about the conditions on board the vessel and the condition of the cattle. These results, which are objective results rather than unfounded speculation, provide clear evidence that the cattle remained in good health and were largely unaffected by the delayed departure,” said Wellard CEO Mauro Balzarini.

The 7,500 sheep from the vessel are currently under quarantine in Wellard’s modern feedlot and will be processed in a Western Australia export accredited abattoir, as planned. They are also in excellent condition.

“The malfunction of one of the vessel’s two engines was not ideal for Wellard or the live export industry, however the professional manner in which the issue was managed and the M/V Ocean Outback’s superior feed, water and a ventilation systems which delivers 110 air changes per hour contributed to a voyage which ultimately was a success and well above industry average,” Mr Balzarini said.

The total duration of the voyage, from when the first cattle stepped onto the vessel, was 26 days, which is the normal voyage duration to some destinations.

“Fortunately, when you are achieving air flow of 110 air changes per hour (four times the Australian standard for livestock vessels and 3.5 times the number air changes per hour on a commercial airliner), while providing average deck temperatures of 21°C (at a time when land temperatures were above 35°C), nutritious feed, fresh water, and daily care from a veterinarian and experienced stockmen, that goes a long way to aiding animal welfare and that’s why we were able to achieve the very good results we accomplished.”

The cattle have been supplied to a long-term customer of Wellard. They will be fed and processed in modern, Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) accredited facilities which employ stunning or captive bolt processing, remote access CCTV and Wellard’s pioneering traceability system.

“Our client is very happy with the quality and health of the cattle,” Mr Balzarini said. “We will continue to monitor their health while they are in the feedlot.”

The vessel is now sailing to Singapore to repair a malfunction with one of its two engines.


For further information please contact:

Cameron Morse

Phone: + 61 8 9485 8888

Mobile: +61 (0) 433 886 871

Website: www.wellard.com.au