Live­stock - is it fit to load?

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FARM SCENE -

The live­stock sa­le­yard is a place to buy and sell fit and healthy stock.

Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria is re­mind­ing live­stock own­ers and agents of

their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties when mak­ing the de­ci­sion to send stock to mar­ket or abat­toirs. Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria an­i­mal health and wel­fare of­fi­cer Sue Vaughan said good live­stock prices were mak­ing it tempt­ing for own­ers and agents to send sick, in­jured or dis­abled an­i­mals to sa­le­yards and abat­toirs, but these fa­cil­i­ties were not the an­swer.

“There are many dif­fer­ent con­di­tions that may af­fect live­stock, caus­ing them suf­fer­ing and com­pro­mis­ing their abil­ity to move

freely and to cope with the rig­ors of trans­port,” Ms Vaughan said.

Ex­am­ples where live­stock should not be se­lected for trans­port

to sa­le­yards or abat­toirs in­clude: weak and ema­ci­ated stock; lame­ness - they should be able to walk nor­mally and bear weight on all four legs; de­formed stock; stock show­ing any vis­i­ble dis­ease, in­jury or tu­mours; stock un­able to keep up with the mob both at load­ing and un­load­ing; im­ma­ture or weak stock - with par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence to bobby calves and/or live­stock in late preg­nancy.

In re­cent years, Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria has been in­volved in in­ves­ti­ga­tions and pros­e­cu­tions of a num­ber of own­ers of cat­tle with un­ac­cept­able eye tu­mours at abat­toirs and sa­le­yards.

“Live­stock man­agers need to keep in mind it is il­le­gal to present cat­tle with eye can­cer, larger than 2cm, or a five cent piece, in Vic­to­rian sa­le­yards,” Ms Vaughan said.

“There are sig­nif­i­cant penal­ties un­der the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals Act (1986) which may im­pli­cate own­ers, trans­porters and even per­sons in charge of un­fit live­stock at sa­le­yards and abat­toirs.

“If the an­i­mal is un­fit to trans­port – do not load it. In­di­vid­ual an­i­mals that are un­fit to travel should be man­aged ap­pro­pri­ately, treated or de­stroyed hu­manely on-farm.”

Dr Bob Far­quhar­son (left) from Mel­bourne Univer­sity joins Agir­cul­ture Vic­to­ria’s Dr Martin Auld­ist to as­sist Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence and Bach­e­lor of Agri­cul­ture stu­dents duirng their visit to Ellinbank Re­search Cen­tre re­cently.

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