The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and National Transport Insurance (NTI) recently launched LivestockASSIST – a 24 hour national hotline to coordinate emergency responses to incidents involving heavy vehicles carrying livestock.
ALRTA National President Kevin Keenan said that the new service is an important addition to the industry’s end-to-end animal welfare strategy.
“Over the past year the ALRTA has taken a quantum leap in our approach to driver safety and animal welfare,” said President Keenan.
“The launch of LivestockASSIST establishes a rapid national emergency response service so that we can minimise harm to drivers and animals in the rare event when things do go wrong,” he said.
NTI National Technical Manager, Rob Waas said that LivestockASSIST is built around NTI’s successful AccidentASSIST service but is tailored for the specific needs of the livestock sector.
“LivestockASSIST includes the usual response options such as vehicle recovery, medical assistance, driver repatriation, trauma counselling and message referral services. However, there are also special requirements when an incident involves livestock,” said Mr Waas.
“Most importantly, special skills and equipment are needed to recover livestock from the vehicle, round up escaped animals that may be in shock and to make decisions about veterinary services.”
“Together with the ALRTA we have established a network of local contacts with the expertise to respond rapidly and as appropriate,” he said.
The hotline is free to use for all livestock transporters or anyone else at the scene of an incident. The national number is 1800 4 ALRTA (or 1800 425 782). Any direct costs incurred relating to vehicle damage, stock loss, site clean-up, towing etc. are the responsibility of the operator or their insurer.