The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines (AAWSG) provides guidance on ensuring animal welfare at every stage of the production process, including ensuring safe and stress-free transportation.
These standards are enshrined in Australian law, which means failure to comply by loading an animal that us unfit to be transported is considered an act of animal cruelty, a prosecutable offense. It is also illegal to coerce or intimidate the ‘person in charge’ to load an animal that is unfit.
In order to help livestock operators ensure compliance with AAWSG and maintain best practices, the MLA regularly updates our ‘fit to load’ guide. This is equivalent to the EU’s ‘Animal Transport Guides’, produced by the Consortium of the Animal Transport Guides Project, for DG SANTE.
The 2019 edition of the ‘fit to load’ guide contains several specific updates. It outlines clear roles and responsibilities for consignors and transporters, and shows a clear chain of responsibility at different points in the journey. The update also provides detailed checklists for assessing animal health, and appropriate loading densities to guarantee safe, disease-free and minimal-stress transportation.
The guide is supported by all red meat industry councils, Animal Health Australia, Dairy Australia, and other industry bodies.
- 🖺 Is the animal fit to load? A national guide to the pre-transport selection and management of livestock.
Article Date: 13th August 2019