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Livestock agent pleads guilty to cruelty charges

Beef Central, 20/02/2017

A 57-year-old livestock agent from Healesville has been fined $1500 in the Echuca Magistrate’s Court for transporting animals that were not fit to travel.

The driver pleaded guilty to failing to inspect the health of cattle he loaded onto his truck before transporting them to a Victorian abattoir.

According to by Agriculture Victoria, two of the cows had to be destroyed by the on-plant veterinarian due to chronic painful conditions; advanced lumpy jaw lesion in one and a septic and swollen leg in the other.

In her submission to the court, Prosecutor Courtney Cameron said the livestock agent failed to exercise the duty that comes hand in hand with his occupation.

“A strong message needed to be sent to those involved in all aspects of farming business that the welfare of their animals must be the cornerstone of their business.” Ms Cameron said.

Veterinary Officer, Dr Sarah Hall said agents and transporters had an important responsibility to ensure good welfare outcomes for animals being transported.

Livestock transporters must comply with the National Land Transport Standards to ensure the welfare of animals under their control.

The standards apply to everyone involved in the transport process.

“It is the responsibility of the transporter to ensure that all livestock are fit for the intended journey. Weak, sick or injured animals that are unable to weight bear normally on all four legs should not be transported, except under veterinary advice,” Dr Hall said.

Source: Agriculture Victoria. More detail about land transport standards for livestock agents can be found here http://go.vic.gov.au/f351nA

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