Be aware of fit to load criteria during drought

DrovingWestern Local Land Services is calling on livestock producers to consider the welfare of their animals as the tough seasonal conditions continue in much of the Western region.

With hot and dry conditions extending well beyond summer, feed sources are in short supply which is impacting on the health and condition of livestock.

In light of this, producers in the Western region are advised to be aware of and know the fit to load criteria.

Meat and Livestock Australia’s fit to load guide outlines six key criteria that makes an animal unfit to transport:

  • cannot walk normally or is not bearing weight on all legs
  • is severely emaciated (very poor body condition) or visibly dehydrated
  • is suffering from severe visible distress or injury
  • is in a condition that could cause it increased pain or distress during transport
  • is blind in both eyes
  • is in late pregnancy.

Western Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Charlotte Cavanagh encouraged livestock owners to seek further information if they were unsure about the health of their animals.

“Even if an animal is on its feet and walking, doesn’t mean it is fit to load,” Dr Cavanagh said.

“Any animals that fall into these six categories are not to be transported and must be kept on farm and adequately fed and treated and if they cannot be treated, humanely destroyed.”

If producers have any questions about the fitness of their animals to transport they should contact a Western Local Land Services District Veterinarian:

  • Charlotte Cavanagh, Bourke, 0429 773 021
  • Felicity Wills, Broken Hill, 0409 858 901.
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