Dairy cattle need to be transported for a range of reasons, whether that be between properties, to saleyards or to meat processors. Everybody who has responsibility for animals being transported needs to ensure their welfare.
Land Transport Standards
The dairy industry – in conjunction with industry bodies, animal welfare scientists, governments and welfare groups – has developed national standards and guidelines for transporting livestock, The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines - Land Transport of Livestock (known as the Land Transport Standards). These standards ensure animals are well looked after during transport.
All farmers must be aware of, and adhere to, their requirements under the Land Transport Standards, which apply to all livestock being transported in Australia, including dairy cattle and bobby calves. Failure to comply with the Land Transport Standards will be an offence and may lead to an infringement or court penalty.
It is a requirement under the Land Transport Standards for livestock owners, operators and receivers to comply with laws which specify requirements for 'fit to load', vehicles and facilities, time off water, journey time and more. The standards ensure livestock must be handled, loaded, transported and unloaded in a manner which minimises risks to livestock welfare.
Compliance with the requirements under the Land Transport Standards will result in good animal welfare outcomes and increased consumer confidence.
Information is available (see below) to assist farmers in understanding their requirements for the responsible care and management of their livestock during transport.
- Is the animal fit to load? A national guide to the pre-transport selection and management of livestock - revised edition 2019 – a valuable resource from Meat & Livestock Australia to assist livestock producers to select animals that are fit for transport. Revised edition includes the updated transport guidelines
- Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines - Land Transport of Livestock
- Welfare scoring nutritionally deprived beef cattle, dairy cattle and their crosses, sheep and horses – NSW DPI guide for welfare scoring nutritionally deprived livestock