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Transporting cattle for slaughter

Meat Standards Australia (MSA) minimum requirements and on-farm responsibilities:

  • Producers are required to be registered with MSA prior to cattle leaving the property of dispatch, to be eligible to supply cattle for MSA grading.
  • MSA vendor declarations must be delivered with the cattle.
  • All cattle must reside on the property of dispatch for a minimum of 30 days prior to dispatch.
  • No entire males or animals showing secondary sexual characteristics are eligible for MSA grading.


  • Cattle should be managed as a single mob for a minimum of 14 days prior to dispatch for slaughter. This includes no mixing or drafting.
  • Cattle should be on a rising plane of nutrition for the last 30 days prior to slaughter.
  • Cattle are to have access to water outside of transport.
  • Handle and muster animals quietly to reduce stress.
  • Load cattle quietly, preferably with no use of goads and/or electric prodders.
  • Cattle to have access to good quality, dry feed prior to dispatch.
  • No cattle of poor temperament.
  • No cattle that are severely sick or injured at point of transport.

Direct consignment

  • Slaughter within 48 hours from the property of dispatch providing the following requirements are met for road transport:
    • The total truck transport time from property dispatch to arrival at the abattoir is not to exceed 36 hours.
    • Up to a 12 hour rest period can occur during the 36 hour trucking period, however, if a 12 hour rest period is taken, then the maximum time cattle can spend on a truck is 24 hours.
    • This pathway allows for up to 12 hours in lairage prior to slaughter.
  • Slaughter by day-after-dispatch for all other methods of transport.

Saleyard pathway

Cattle shall be slaughtered within 36 hours after dispatch from the farm or property.