Video – Is it fit to load?

Beef Central, 26/02/2018

With dry seasonal conditions in large parts of rural Australia, livestock producers are being reminded of their obligations to adhere to ‘fit to load’ animal transport standards and guidelines.

Meat and Livestock Australia has posted a new video to its You Tube channel outlining the responsibilities producers have to comply with the Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the land transport of livestock and relevant state and territory legislation.

The video appears below, followed by tips on preparding stock for transport

Preparing stock for transport

Livestock should be adequately prepared for a journey. Livestock stress in transport is cumulative and animals that are already stressed travel poorly. Preparing livestock well for transport helps ensure they are in good condition on arrival and reduces skin staining, bruising, downers and deaths.

The key points when preparing livestock for travel are:

  • Plan for the trip.
  • Avoid extremes of weather.
  • Check the holding and loading yards and loading ramp to make sure they are adequate.
  • Use low-stress handling techniques.
  • Don’t carry out highly stressful activities just before loading, including crutching, dipping, drenching and dehorning.
  • Ear tagging prior to loading for transport should be limited to those animals that have lost an NLIS tag.
  • Only present livestock that are fit to travel.
  • Sick, injured, severely lame, weak or emaciated animals unable to keep up with the mob, blind and heavily pregnant animals should not be transported.
  • Yard the livestock before loading, preferably overnight to allow them to settle.
  • Segregate livestock appropriately for loading and travel.
  • Hold stock off feed and water for 8-12 hours prior to transport if possible.
  • Strict maximum times off water apply and producers must remember that time off water prior to loading is part of the maximum time off water for the intended journey.
  • Use a professional livestock carrier who is accredited by TruckCare.
  • Be careful with drought-affected livestock and move them early rather than when feed levels are so low they can’t be properly prepared for transport.
  • Load livestock to the approved density only.
  • Remember, when using a professional livestock carrier, the driver has the final say.
  • Make sure all movement documents and paperwork travelling with the livestock is complete and signed, for example an LPA NVD/WaybillNational Sheep Health StatementNational Goat Health StatementNational Animal Health Statement for Johne’s Disease Status of Beef CattleDairy BJD Assurance Score Declaration Form, Travelling Stock Statement or Waybill.

More information

Source: Meat & Livestock Australia


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  1. Paul Franks, 26/02/2018

    After watching the video the tips for long distance transport some will find handy.

    But I am again dismayed at the lack of common sense application in the “fit to load” section. It seems no one is willing to stand up and provide information, all we get is parroting of the vague bureaucratic guidelines that sound fine thirty stories up in North Sydney.

    Take the sheep shown in the image that sometime in the past had a broken leg that is now healed. To me that animal is fit to load under the right circumstances. That being a low density loading rate. Whenever I have taken injured but healed and fat animals to the abattoir in the past they were always loaded in a common sense density, so thus if one did decide to sit down, there was near no risk of being trampled. Only animals that could easily stand and walk were loaded, the trips always took under an hour from load to unload. They were just disabled and never heard anything from the abattoir about them.

    So what now under these new guidelines?

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