Sensors to monitor export heat, humidity

Zach RelphCountryman
The Al Messilah is involved in a $2.2 million Federal Government-backed trial into heat and humidity aboard livestock carriers
Camera IconThe Al Messilah is involved in a $2.2 million Federal Government-backed trial into heat and humidity aboard livestock carriers Credit: Joy Loughnan / Marinetraffic.com

Sensors measuring temperature, humidity and volatile gases have been fitted on a livestock carrier as part of a dehumidification trial for live sheep vessels en route to the Middle East.

The equipment was installed on the Al Messilah at Fremantle this week to mark the first stage of the $2.2 million Federal Government-backed trial into heat and humidity aboard vessels.

Research and development group LiveCorp, which is managing the trial, began the equipment installation aboard the Kuwait Livestock Transport and Trading-owned ship on Monday.

The installation was scheduled to be complete on Tuesday.

The sensors will collect data during one of the last sheep voyages to the Middle East before the three-month northern summer recess from June 1 to August 31.

The Al Messilah will be used for a trial in the Middle East without livestock, during which air will be pumped into two decks from dehumidification units mounted on a wharf to determine if it is possible to reduce temperature and humidity.

LiveCorp chairman Terry Enright said the project could improve the live sheep sector’s future amid queries on its ability to meet animal welfare standards.

“If the static trial is successful and we’re confident we can manage potential risks, another trial will be planned with the equipment installed on a ship for a commercial voyage with livestock on board,” he said.

“There’s still a long way to go, but this may ultimately allow Australia to continue its role as a valued partner in supplying the Middle East and contributing to food security, as well as providing an important market for sheep producers in WA.”

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