Death of 49 cows in aircrafts from Australia to Kazakhstan was caused by improper air circulation
Almaty. May 5. KazTAG - Death of 49 cattle on transportation from Australia to Kazakhstan in October 2013 occurred in the result of improper air circulation on the plane, reports the Ministry of Agriculture, Fish and Forest Economy of Australia.
"Inadequate ventilation within the double crates is the most likely cause of the mortalities. The high mortality of cattle in the upper decks of the crates is consistent with inadequate ventilation causing increased temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and ammonia levels during the flight. There was no identified or known defect in the aircraft’s ECS. The placement of double crates loaded side by side in one block may have impacted the airflow on the main deck to the point where it influenced the compartment’s environmental conditions. Inadequate ventilation was further compounded by a stop in Singapore with a hot, humid climate," reads the report.
On 21 October 2013, Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) exported 321 cattle by air from Melbourne to Almaty (Kazakhstan). There were 49 mortalities during the flight, a mortality rate of 15.3 per cent. This exceeds the 0.5 per cent reportable mortality level for cattle on voyages less than 10 days as prescribed by the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).
Inadequate ventilation in the double crates is considered the most likely cause of the mortalities.
"All mortalities occurred in the top tiers of the double crates. Forty nine cattle were found dead on arrival in Almaty. A post mortem was performed on two of the mortalities by veterinarians from the Committee for Veterinary Surveillance and Supervision, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The post mortems determined death was caused by gas intoxication. Five animals were tested for anthrax with negative results," reads the message.
This consignment was the fifth in a series of nine. Before this consignment the exporter had exported 1350 cattle in four consignments from Melbourne to Kazakhstan by air. On two of these consignments a similar load configuration was used. No mortalities were reported on these previous consignments. The department approved four subsequent consignments subject to the conditions that all cattle were loaded in single tier crates only. As of 30 November 2013, 1165 cattle have been exported in four consignments with no mortalities recorded.
Immediately following this incident the department required full freighter consignments of cattle to be exported using single tiered crates only.
The exporter resumed exports of cattle to Kazakhstan by air and since 30 November 2013 they have completed four consignments of 1165 cattle with no mortalities reported.
"From 30 November 2013the department has required the preparation of an Air Risk Management Plan for exporters using double tier crates to export cattle. Between 30 November 2013 and 31 January 2014 480 cattle have been exported by air to various destinations with no mortalities," reads the report.