Everything you need to know about transporting livestock safely, legally and humanely


Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), a peak body for the red meat and livestock industry, has released a new online Transport Hub.

The website aims to bring together everything you need to know about transporting livestock safely, legally and humanely anywhere in Australia.

“It’s probably the first time that the grazing production industry has come together with the transport industry to solve some common problems that we see across the industry,” said Russell Lethbridge, cattle producer and MLA board member in the launch video for the hub.

“We all have to recognise that for the majority of Australians, all they see of our industry is those sheep, or cattle going past their windows or on their roads.

“We just need to make sure that what they see is acceptable.”

Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association vice president Athol Carter said the hub demonstrated how supply chain parties were working together for the best outcomes for animals in their care.

“Transporting and handling livestock is a specialist task and one which the whole supply chain relies on to be performed safely, efficiently and professionally,” Carter said.

“Well planned and managed livestock transport delivers the best results for people and animals, higher profits and ensures the sustainability of the industry.”

MLA project manager Sharon Dundon said the hub was developed as a single-source, one-stop shop for all things related to livestock road transport.

“There’s nothing that exists that pools and brings all that information together.”

That ranges from practical hands-on information to scientific information.

“A core part of the hub will be information around preparation for livestock for their intended journey and all the things you need to consider.”

The information includes the below checklist for transporters and drivers:

  • I have scheduled my journey to manage fatigue and understand how it may impact animal welfare.
    • Problematic livestock that go down during the journey and require constant management have the potential to push drivers outside legal working hours under National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) requirements.
  • I have clear directions, agreed loading times and average livestock weights.
    • Good directions and contact numbers are essential to ensure you arrive to load on time. All drivers know that getting lost and burning unnecessary working hours can have serious flow-on effects to other loads scheduled for the week.
    • Knowing the average weight of cattle takes the guesswork out of managing load weight limits as there are strict laws in some states including NSW.
  • I have done my pre-loading inspections and the livestock are fit to load for the intended journey.
  • I have aligned my fatigue management requirements with livestock welfare management.
    • e.g. avoid loading livestock that will be held on the truck during a mandatory seven-hour break in a 24 hour period. Longer trips may require spelling in yards.
  • I am aware of my regulatory responsibilities under the chain of responsibility.
  • I take advantage of specialist training materials and courses provided by organisations such as ALFA’s Feedlot TECH – Livestock Handling – Animal Wellbeing for Transport
  • I act with professionalism and take responsibility for livestock under my care.

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