ALRTA makes its case for ramp standards in Queensland

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) is arguing the case for recognition of the Australian Ramp Standard (AS 5340:2020) within Queensland animal welfare laws.

The peak livestock body appeared before a hearing of the Queensland State Development and Regional Industries Committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the Animal Care and Protection Amendment Bill 2022 (Qld).

ALRTA was represented by Graeme Hoare (LRTAQ rep and chair of the ALRTA Driver and Animal Welfare Committee) and Mat Munro (ALRTA executive director).

As per its submission, ALRTA has recommended:

  • References to livestock loading ramps or forcing yards be replaced by, or complemented with, a reference to the Australian Ramp Standard; and
  • Inspectors be empowered to give animal welfare directions to a person for non-compliance with a compulsory code requirement, including failure to conform with the standard.

Hoare added that a reference to the Australian Ramp Standard would be an important step in modernising Queensland animal welfare laws.

“Road transport is a necessary part of the livestock production chain. Most livestock are moved several times between production, selling and processing facilities,” Hoare said.

“The process of loading and unloading can be a stressful time for animals and handlers that can also result in injury or death via slips, trips, falls, crushing, striking and laceration. One of the key risk factors is the equipment used – specifically, the livestock loading and unloading ramp.

“ALRTA has worked with Standards Australia and the entire livestock supply chain to develop a performance based Australian Ramp Standard that is modern, safe and able to be implemented in all enterprises, large or small.

“Given that Queensland’s compulsory codes already require ‘persons in charge’ of livestock to provide appropriate loading and unloading ramp facilities, referencing the Australian Standard would not establish a new legal duty or a new cost.  It would simply explain to all parties how they can meet the legal duties that are in place.

“Modernising Queensland animal welfare laws to reflect the Australian Ramp Standard would enhance safety and welfare for Queensland’s livestock and for Queensland’s people,” he explained.

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