Transporting livestock to minimise stress and welfare risks

Proper planning and preparation are key

Tablelands Telegraph – December 2021

Lucienne Downs, District Vet

Livestock must be transported in a way that minimises stress and animal welfare risks. The responsibility for the welfare of livestock during transport apply to all people involved including producers, managers, saleyard managers/superintendents, feedlot operators, agents, livestock processing plants, drivers and transporters.

People involved in the transport of livestock should ensure the livestock are adequately prepared for the trip and that the trip is planned to minimise the cumulative effects of stress on the animals.

Preparation and planning include:

  • avoiding extreme weather conditions
  • minimising stressful management prior to transport
  • ensuring yards and loading ramps are adequate
  • using low stress handling techniques
  • ensuring the correct times for withholding feed and water are followed for that age and status of the livestock
  • recording times off feed and water
  • ensuring livestock are spelled when required for the correct times
  • ensure animals are fit to load
  • ensure animals are segregated appropriately for transport
  • ensure the correct livestock density is followed
  • ensure all animals are tagged and that the correct paperwork is completed and signed.

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