January 10, 2013
The saleyard is a place to buy and sell fit, healthy livestock for restocking or for slaughter for human consumption. It is not the place to dispose of sick, weak, diseased or injured livestock. Unfit livestock trucked to saleyards are a serious animal welfare problem and can damage both the reputation of livestock industries and consumer confidence. Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Animal Health Officer John Bodey said it was essential all livestock including sheep, cattle and pigs were fit and well and able to withstand extended transportation and handling after leaving the farm. “Buyers, consumers and the public expect to find fit and healthy stock in the saleyard and high standards of animal welfare,” Mr Bodey said. The question ‘is it fit to travel?’ should be used as a guide for farmers, truck drivers and agents to determine if animals are fit to be presented for sale or slaughter. Livestock must: Be fit and strong enough to make the journey. Be able to walk normally on all four legs. Not be suffering visible disease or injury. Not be in advanced pregnancy unless given special treatment in regard to handling, holding times and provision of feed and water. “If an animal does not meet these requirements then it should not be loaded and dispatched to saleyards, scales or abattoirs. “Livestock not fit to travel should be managed appropriately, treated, or destroyed humanely on farm. “Farmers found using saleyards to dispose of unfit livestock may face prosecution under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994,” Mr Bodey said. To ensure such animals are not loaded and dispatched to saleyards, producers and truck drivers are encouraged to thoroughly inspect livestock at the time of yarding and before loading, and remove any animals unfit for transport.