Back to Extension, training & tools

Transporting sheep for slaughter

MSA minimum requirements and on-farm responsibilities

Producers are required to be registered with MSA prior to sheep leaving their property of origin to be MSA eligible.

  1. Minimum two weeks off shears.
  2. Fat score ≥2 (GRimagew51ql.png ≥6mm).
  3. HSCW ≥16kg for young lambs, HSCW ≥18kg for all weaned lambs, hoggets and mutton.
  4. Total time off feed not greater than 48 hours before slaughter.
  5.  Animals to have access to water at all times while not in transit.
  6. Minimum of two weeks at consignment property before dispatch.
  7. Maximum time in transit 24 hours.
  8. National Vendor Declaration (sheep and lambs) and waybill to be correctly filled out prior to consignment and accompany consignment to saleyards or processor.
  9. Entire males or animals showing secondary sexual characteristics are not eligible for MSA grading.

*Note: Discussions are underway with MSA to better align best practice livestock transport recommendations with the current MSA requirements above, specifically “Animals to have access to water at all times while not in transit”. The revised wording in the MSA standards should provide flexibility for producers to restrict access to water prior to transport without exceeding 24hrs (total including transit), prior to arrival at the abattoir. The updated wording will better align welfare and eating quality objectives.  

Recommendations for growth

  • 1st and 2nd cross - a minimum of 100 grams/day for two weeks prior to consignment.
  • Merinos – a minimum of 150 grams/day for two weeks prior to consignment.

Direct consignment

  • All categories except ram are eligible.

Saleyard consignment

  • Animals through this pathway must meet pH/temperature window requirements.