Livestock - is it fit to load?
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.