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Animal Welfare - Vital For Livestock Transport

by 5m Editor
6 July 2006, at 4:19pm

AUSTRALIA - With the increasing scrutiny of the management and care of animals, the Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries (DPI&F) is urging producers and transporters to examine their livestock transport procedures to ensure that animals arrive at their destination in the best possible condition.

DPI&F General Manager for Animal Welfare, Dr Rick Symons said it was essential that persons responsible for transporting livestock were aware of their obligations under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, which placed a Duty of Care on all persons in charge of animals.

"Awareness of the obligations of producers and drivers and knowledge of the animals' requirements are essential to ensure that the animals are delivered with minimal stress and discomfort, and maximum value" Dr Symons said.

"The Act defines "persons in charge" as the owner, employees of the owner or anyone having custody of the animal at the time. This includes the owner, his/her employees, agents, transporters and anyone else involved in the transportation process.

"So there is a clear legal responsibility that is shared by everyone involved in the process of transporting livestock to ensure the animals' welfare is not compromised."

National Codes of Practice are recognised in the Act as the accepted standards for various species of livestock. There are a number of codes that deal specifically with the transport of livestock. These clearly detail the responsibilities of everyone involved.

Dr Symons said in addition to the suffering of animals during an adverse incident such an incident usually resulted in financial cost to the owner through lost production or value.

"Such incidents can occur during transport as a result of inconsistencies in procedures, complacency, time pressures and changes in staff." he said.

"A good way to reduce the risk is to develop a checklist. This will provide a consistency that will ensure that your animals are prepared and delivered in the best possible condition."

"A standard checklist should incorporate the planning of the journey, pre-transport preparation of livestock, loading, travel and unloading," Dr Symons said.

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5m Editor