Preparation for dispatch of livestock

Why do we need to ensure livestock are fit for transport?

If livestock become stressed, contaminated or injured during assembly for transport, they may pose a food safety risk. Livestock not fit for transport may be an animal welfare concern, and would not meet the expectations of our customers.

What must producers do to prepare for the dispatch of livestock?

  • Observe curfew periods - do not feed or water livestock destined for slaughter during the minimum curfew period, unless specified otherwise by the customer. This will minimise effluent which can add to stress and contamination during assembly and transport. Typical curfew periods are six hours for cattle and 12 hours for sheep and goats.
  • Do not transport sick or injured animals - animals not fit to travel may cause an animal welfare concern. Ensure animals are fit for travel, mustered and assembled with minimal stress.
  • Inspect the vehicle - make sure it is clean and well maintained to avoid stress, injury and contamination during transport 
  • Load with care - care needs to be taken to avoid injury and stress when loading and unloading. Load the truck lightly so cattle have plenty of room to move around

Live stockowners should choose transport operators who adhere to a recognised quality assurance program.

How should livestock movements be documented?

All livestock owners arranging for the movement of cattle, sheep or goats from their property must complete an LPA NVD and document and file relevant transport records. An LPA NVD is a legal document. When you sign an LPA NVD, you are declaring the food safety status of the animals listed on it. The LPA NVD is your guarantee that your on-farm practices meet LPA requirements and forms part of Australia’s red meat integrity system.

Note: Keep records for a minimum of 3 years, in accordance with State legislation or for the duration of the livestock on the PIC, whichever is longer.

Do additional safeguards apply to bobby calves?

Bobby calves are calves not accompanied by their mother, less than 30 days old, weighing less than 80kg live weight. Dairy farmers must observe specific requirements around the sale or slaughter of bobby calves, ensuring the animals are between five and 30 days of age, are in good health and able to rise from lying to a standing position, are protected from cold and heat, are fed milk or milk-replacer no more than six hours before departure from the farm and spend no more than 12 hours on the transport.

How can producers meet this LPA requirement?

To comply with the requirements around preparing to dispatch livestock, owners must:

  • Document and file LPA NVDs
  • Document and file transport records
  • Document and file husbandry/treatment records
  • Make sure they have identified animals that may have been exposed to physical contaminants such as broken needles, buckshot or wire
  • Regularly review and complete the preparation for dispatch of livestock checklist

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