Get it right every time – is it fit to load?

Beef Central, 08/09/2023

Livestock must be inspected prior to being loaded and they must not be suffering from conditions that could cause, or would be likely to cause, increased pain or distress during transport.

A guideline titled ‘Is the animal fit to load?’ has been produced by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

In summary, an animal is not fit to load if it:

• is not able to walk normally or bear weight on all its legs. This may be due to a recent or old fracture, an injury, a deformity or an infection

• is not strong enough to make the journey • is suffering from severe distress or injury

• is in a condition that could cause it increased pain or distress during transport

• is blind in both eyes

• is in late pregnancy.

Agriculture Victoria Senior Veterinary Officer Dr Jeff Cave encourages producers unsure about an animal’s suitability for transport to ask their private veterinarian or departmental animal health officer or veterinary officer if livestock are fit to load.

When an animal is idenfied as being unfit to load, there are a few options, Dr Cave said.

“You could treat the animal and transport it when it has recovered and is fit to load. Naturally, this is not an option in cases that are not readily treatable.

“Alternatively, you could humanely destroy the animal. A knackery service is available in many areas to help with this option.

“Finally, you could consult a veterinarian and only transport the animal under veterinary advice.”

Dr Cave said it was important to remember that the person in charge of the animal is responsible for its welfare.

“Community values and expectations will not accept anything less. If it is unfit to load it is unfit to be presented at a saleyards.’

See Agriculture Victoria’s ‘Land transport of livestock standards and guidelines’ for more information.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -