Pri­or­ity for an­i­mal wel­fare

Owner Driver - - News -

THE AUS­TRALIAN Live­stock and Ru­ral Trans­porters As­so­ci­a­tion (ALRTA) has ap­plauded the “com­mon-sense ap­proach” of the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor ( NHVR) in de­vel­op­ing the new na­tional an­i­mal wel­fare no­tice.

The up­dated Na­tional Live­stock Wel­fare Work and Rest Ex­emp­tion

( No­tice) 2017 ( No.1) came into force on Fe­bru­ary 10 across NHVR’s par­tic­i­pat­ing states and ter­ri­to­ries in­clud­ing New South Wales, Vic­to­ria, Queens­land, South Aus­tralia, Tas­ma­nia and Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory.

The no­tice of­fers driv­ers of heavy ve­hi­cles car­ry­ing live­stock with lim­ited flex­i­bil­ity for the pur­pose of man­ag­ing an­i­mal wel­fare re­quire­ments in un­usual or un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances.

Live­stock driv­ers op­er­at­ing un­der the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Scheme’s ( NHVAS) Stan­dard and Ba­sic Fa­tigue Man­age­ment ( BFM) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will have up to one hour ad­di­tional driv­ing time to deal with po­ten­tial an­i­mal wel­fare threats.

The no­tice can be used on con­sec­u­tive days but it will not per­mit in­crease in to­tal driv­ing time.

There­fore driv­ers will have to in­crease the du­ra­tion of their next long rest break by twice the du­ra­tion of any ad­di­tional driv­ing time in the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod.

The driv­ers are re­quired to spec­ify their driv­ing hours and rest breaks in log books.

Wel­com­ing the new rule, ALRTA na­tional pres­i­dent Kevin Keenan says the new no­tice re­places “less work­able state­based no­tices in NSW and SA that ex­pired at mid­night Fe­bru­ary 9”.

Keenan says the new no­tice has been de­vel­oped fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion with the na­tional live­stock body.

“While the HVNL [ Heavy Ve­hi­cle Na­tional Law] stip­u­lates work and rest rules for heavy ve­hi­cle driv­ers, the Aus­tralian An­i­mal Wel­fare Stan­dards and Guide­lines for Land Trans­port of Live­stock con­cur­rently stip­u­late max­i­mum pe­ri­ods that wa­ter may be with­held from live an­i­mals as well as other re­quire­ments such as un­load­ing live­stock promptly af­ter ar­riv­ing at a des­ti­na­tion,” he says.

“Un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances can some­times pre­vent a driver from reach­ing a suit­able des­ti­na­tion to un­load live­stock within gen­er­ally per­mit­ted driv­ing hours.

“If a driver is less than one hour from a suit­able un­load­ing site, this no­tice will en­able that driver to reach the des­ti­na­tion and safely and hu­manely un­load the live­stock rather than keep­ing them in the ve­hi­cle dur­ing a long rest break.”

The no­tice refers to an­i­mals such as cat­tle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, poul­try, emus, os­trich, al­paca, deer, camel and buf­falo.

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