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Transporting livestock - transcript

In a case study video Greg McDougall, a senior policy officer in Animal Welfare for Biosecurity Queensland, discusses best practice for transporting livestock:

[Greg McDougall, Senior Policy Officer, Animal Welfare, Biosecurity Queensland]

Good transport of livestock should aim to deliver the animals in the best possible condition, and a key to achieving this is understanding the animal and being able to provide for its needs.

When you're transporting animals, it's important that you segregate certain classes and species of animals. For example, calves should not be transported with pigs, or if calves are travelling without their mother they should not be transported with adult cattle. And also, stallions should be segregated from other horses during transport. It's also important when you're transporting, to conduct regular inspections to make sure animals are travelling alright and not experiencing any difficulties, and if they are experiencing difficulties, give them any assistance necessary to relieve that.

When you're considering transporting livestock, you've got to look at the animal's fitness for the intended journey. That means it's got enough vigour to withstand the rigours of the journey. When you're making this assessment in selecting the livestock, you want to be looking at things like: can the animal walk on all 4 legs, bearing weight on all 4 legs? Is their body condition strong? Are they free from any conditions such as disease or injury that may impact on the animal's ability to withstand the journey?

Young animals are generally more susceptible to stress than older animals during transport so particular care needs to be taken. They have a shorter time off water requirement, and particularly in the case of young calves travelling without their mother, they have specific feed requirements that need to be met.

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Transport of Livestock were developed nationally and provide recommendations on what a person should do when transporting livestock.

Watch our transporting livestock video.