New Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines being developed
Nationally consistent standards and guidelines for the welfare of livestock are being developed, cooperatively by government and livestock industries. The welfare standards and guidelines are based on the revision of the current Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals.
The welfare standards and guidelines for livestock aim to streamline livestock welfare legislation in Australia, ensuring that it is both practical for industry and results in improved welfare outcomes.
Australian producers have always been aware of their responsibilities for livestock welfare, however, increasing awareness among consumers is placing significant pressure on our livestock industries to improve animal welfare. The development of welfare standards and guidelines underpins access to overseas markets and reinforces Australia’s international leadership in livestock welfare. Without such change Australia risks losing consumer confidence and significant national and international markets.
Further information on the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines is available here http://www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/
ALRTA National Animal Welfare Policy
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has released a National Animal Welfare Policy for livestock carriers.
The policy statement lays out thirteen key principles for best practice in livestock transport and has been agreed by all six of the ALRTA’s state associations.
Download the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Policy – October 2016
ALRTA President Kevin Keenan said that the association has taken a proactive approach to safeguarding animal welfare and it was important to articulate agreed national policies to all key stakeholders.
“Caring for live cargos is a unique part of the rural road transport task that is under constant scrutiny by markets, governments and the community”, said President Keenan.
“The interaction of animal welfare laws, workplace safety laws and road transport laws creates complex challenges in balancing the equally important elements of driver welfare and animal welfare”.
“Over the past three years, our National Animal Welfare Committee has examined our role in the supply chain and championed several important new initiatives. For example, we have published national guidelines for the safe design of ramps and forcing yards, merged truckCare with the award winning truckSafe accreditation system and established LivestockASSIST – a 24hr national hotline dedicated to coordinating emergency responses.”
“Our association now has a holistic approach to promoting positive animal welfare outcomes that commences with pre-transit livestock preparation, through loading, transport, unloading and emergency responses in the rare event that things go wrong”.
“We are proud of who we are and what we do. We expect our member operators to uphold the highest possible animal welfare standards at all times. Publication of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Policy will help to inform all stakeholders about our efforts to protect our animals, markets and reputation,” said President Keenan.
The policy will be updated over time as community expectations evolve and new policies are adopted.