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New livestock welfare, land transport regulations (June 2013)

All State and Territory governments and the national organisations representing the livestock industries and livestock carriers have agreed to national standards for the land transport of livestock. Regulations bringing those standards into effect in Tasmania come into force on 15 June 2013.

The new standards mirror what was already in place under Tasmanian guidelines - but with one major difference. They are legally enforceable.

The regulations apply not only to livestock owners and transporters, but also to anyone involved in preparing, loading or unloading livestock - whether it is at a farm, saleyard, abattoir, vet clinic etc.

The standards apply to the transport of livestock, including horses, but not to domestic pets. Bobby calves are not yet covered, as maximum time off feed is yet to be agreed nationally.

A key standard is that an animal must be "fit to load" before it can be transported. Essentially, this means it must be healthy enough for the entire journey. This includes making sure that an animal is not transported if it is lame, unable to stand or has an advanced eye cancer. A handy guide titled 'Is it fit to load?' is available from Meat and Livestock Australia website.

For further information, contact the Animal Biosecurity and Welfare Branch at DPIPWE by phone on 1300 368 550 (local call fee), or by email - AnimalWelfare.Enquiries@ dpipwe.tas.gov.au