Proposed new standards and guidelines for the land transport of livestock in Australia have been released for public comment. In what is undoubtedly a response to the global campaign to end the long distance transport of live animals, Animal Health Australia has developed a set of standards and guidelines to relieve the stress inflicted on livestock during land transport. But the cruel and unnecessary practice of transporting live animals to the Middle East by ship will continue.
On 15 February 2008, we published an article on the Global campaign to end the barbaric transport of live animals.
According to Handle With Care, the international coalition of animal welfare groups set up to end the cruel and unnecessary long distance transport of live animals, Australia is the largest exporter of animals overseas for slaughter. You will find more information about this issue and some very disturbing video footage, on the Handle With Care Australia website.
The draft standards, coordinated by Animal Health Australia, cover the land transport of sheep, cattle, pigs, poultry and horses within Australia. They also cover goats, buffalo, camels, deer, alpacas, emus and ostriches. However, the proposed new standards do not address the plight of livestock exported overseas by ship.
Animal Health Australia is a not for profit company established by the Australian Government. Members include state and territory governments and organisations who represent the interests of the livestock industry.
The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock are based on current national Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Land Transport.
“The proposed Land Transport Standards incorporate nationally agreed welfare standards as well as industry–approved guidelines for each species or enterprise.” Mr Ralph Hood, CEO of Animal Health Australia, said in a statement released to the media.
Animal Health Australia says the standards aim to minimise stress and the risk of injury at all stages of transport, covering issues including loading, unloading, water and feed requirements, transport design and responsibilities for owners and transport operators.
Animal Health Australia is seeking comments from anyone who may be affected by the Land Transport Standards, as well as interested members of the public. In particular, Animal Health Australia seeks comments on how well people believe:
- the draft Land Transport Standards specify requirements for protecting the welfare of the species it covers during land transport; and
- the associated RIS demonstrates the need for the Land Transport Standards and the associated costs and benefits.
Interested parties can write their own submissions or complete a survey that seeks their views of different sections of the draft Land Transport Standards and RIS. Submissions can be made via the internet, email or post. Hard copies of the consultation package are available upon request.
Information about the draft Land Transport Standards, including details of the standards and guidelines, the RIS and the online survey, is available at: www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au.