Author Topic: New fit-to-load standards from July 27.6.2012  (Read 660 times)

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New fit-to-load standards from July 27.6.2012
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 12:03:26 PM »
New fit-to-load standards from July

SHEEP producers are being urged to only load stock that are fit for transport to ensure that the industry’s recent improvements in condition of animals at saleyards continues.The reminder comes as States prepare for new national livestock transport standards. The new standards start on July 1 in Tasmania, Victoria and the Northern Territory, on August 1 in South Australia, later in 2012 for NSW and in 2013 for Western Australia and Queensland.

The standards apply for sheep, pigs, goats and cattle as well as alpacas, buffalo, camels, deer, emus, ostriches, horses and poultry and include planning and preparation for transport, time off water and fit-to-load criteria.

They replace previous codes of practice that differed in each State with a consistent national approach.

Sheepmeat Council of Australia president Ian McColl said the new standards removed any shades of grey there might have been with determining whether stock were fit to load.

“From an industry or producer point of view, we see that as positive for the ongoing welfare of animals,” he said.

He said the strength of the new standards was the national consistency offered, which was a “good move forward for the industry”.

He said producers had definitely improved the condition of stock taken to saleyards.

“People are very aware at all levels of their responsibilities and certainly take welfare very seriously across the industry,” he said.

“We’re being proactive, we are coming out with new and better standards. We are aware of the concerns of animal welfare, it is one of the main concerns of our industry.

"(Good animal welfare) is paramount for our whole production system.”

Last month, the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPA) circulated a report from Animals’ Angels titled Australia’s Contradiction – Farmed Animal Welfare.

The report was presented to the global Food and Agriculture Organisation’s forum on animal welfare earlier this year.

It contained photos of animals between August 2010 and June 2011 either unfit for travel or being transported in equipment the organisation claims breached transport standards.

The report questioned whether agricultural departments are best placed to police the industry without prejudice if it is also their role to promote the use of animals. It called for an independent body to police the development and enforcement of animal welfare laws.

“The treatment of animals at many saleyards, throughout many transports and during export, is a continuing disgrace in Australia,” the report said.

ALPA chief executive Andy Madigan said the report was sent to members to reinforce that the industry was being watched.

He said while the industry had been improving in terms of the condition of animals delivered to saleyards, it was an offence to transport stock that were not fit to load, even from property to property.

“If they’re not fit to load, they are not fit for any journey - and that’s to an abattoir or anywhere,” he said.

“If people think they are going to bypass a saleyard and sell faulties straight to an abattoir, well they’ll get prosecuted because the abattoirs are getting monitored just as much as anywhere else.”

Download MLA’s Is It Fit To Load? guide under ‘publications’ at

An animal is unfit to load if it is:
  • Unable to bear weight on all legs
  • Severely emaciated
  • Visibly dehydrated
  • Showing signs of severe injury or distress.
  • Suffering from conditions likely to cause increased pain or distress during transport
  • Blind in both eyes
  • In late pregnancy, where the journey to the end destination is more than four hours
BY DEANNA LUSH 27 Jun, 2012

« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 09:28:00 PM by WA Export News »