Jointly named at a ceremony held in February 2014 with her sister vessel Gelbray Express, Girolando Express is the fourth in a series of “next generation” livestock carriers to be built in China for the Vroon Group of the Netherlands. The new vessels are fitted with animal-welfare facilities including capacity for 90 air-changes per hour, thereby exceeding even demanding Australian (AMSA) regulations. It will be noted that she also incorporates a revival of the battleship bow design that today’s generation of naval architects have identified as achieving reduced fuel consumption and improved sea going performance. The vessel has a cruising range of 18,000 nautical miles.
Built by COSCO Shipyard Group, Guangdong, PRC
Owned and operated by Vroon B.V., The Netherlands
Delivered in 2014
GRT 10,421 tons
DWT 5,488 MT
Livestock pen area 4,500 sqm
Service speed 16.75 knots (maximum 18 knots)
With Australia being the leading exporter of livestock, AMSA has taken the lead in laying down standards of carriage in that country’s Navigation Act of 2012. The Act details such issues as restrictions on carriage, structure and protection standards; means of livestock and personnel access; the strength, design and capacity of pens; mandatory equipment for care onboard including a humane killing device and the disposal of dead livestock.
The export of cattle and sheep is not without controversy with Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Ireland and the UK all experiencing periodic protests against the trade. In 2011, the Australian Labor Government temporarily placed a blanket ban on the export of live cattle to Indonesia following a media investigation into the practices of abattoirs in that country. The trade at the time was valued at A$600 million per annum and represented 50% of all cattle exports. The move created uproar across Australia and resulted in enormous financial damage to cattle farmers. For it’s part, Indonesia has used Australian cattle imports as a weapon in the ongoing disagreement between the two countries surrounding the treatment of asylum seekers.
See the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnA4ndAeuPU
Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.