Is your animal fit to load?
WITH dry conditions continuing to plague many parts of the region, the North Coast Local Land Services animal health team are urging producers to take precautions when selecting and managing livestock in preparation for transport.
North Coast Local Land Services district veterinarian Dr Liz Bolin said producers need to take care when selecting livestock for transport.
"Conditions such as cancer eye, lameness, pregnancy or malnutrition are examples where an animal may not legally be able to be loaded onto a truck," Dr Bolin said.
To help make this process a little easier, Meat and Livestock Australia have recently released an updated version of the glovebox guide for producers 'Is the Animal Fit to Load?'.
This detailed guide provides an outline for the assessment of livestock for health conditions or injuries that may determine an animal as being unfit to be loaded for transport.
The guideline also provides advice on the responsibilities for the person in charge of the animal at any point in the journey including; producer, transporter, driver, livestock agent or sale yard manager.
"It is a shared responsibility, and the 'person in charge' of an animal at any one point in the chain of custody is personally responsible for the welfare of that animal," Dr Bolin said.
Dr Bolin said, among other things, the producer was responsible for mustering, selecting and ensuring that all animals are NLIS compliant, and must complete all of the necessary transport documents such as NVD /TSS and Animal Health Declarations.
She said responsibility falls on the transporter to provide transport vehicles fit for purpose, inspect livestock for any health concerns before loading and adhere to appropriate loading density recommendations.
North Coast Local Land Services general manager Louise Orr said offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 and Land Transport of Livestock Standards were enforceable by law and could result in a fine or prosecution.
"If there is any doubt, we urge that people obtain a second opinion, consult either a private veterinarian or one of the North Coast Local Land Services District Veterinarians," she said.
"If you are still in doubt - leave it out".
To download the guide or to order a hard copy, visit: mla.com.au/isitfittoload
For more information contact your private veterinarian or the North Coast Local Land Services district veterinarian on 1300 795 299.