All those involved in the transport of livestock are reminded that Western Australia’s new Transport Regulations have now come into force.
The Animal Welfare (Transport, Saleyards and Depots) (Cattle and Sheep) Regulations 2020 seek to provide improved animal welfare outcomes for sheep and cattle during land transport and at saleyards and depots.
Director Regional Compliance – South, Russell Adams, said the regulations applied from the farm gate to the final destination and at all stages in between during the transport process.
“The process starts when the sheep or cattle are mustered in Western Australia or outside of the State if they are coming from interstate,” he said.
“It ends when the transported animals are given reasonable access to water and feed at a final destination, like a farm, feedlot or are processed.
“This includes during assembling, while in holding facilities like yards, saleyards and depots, when selecting, loading and being held on a vehicle – whether the vehicle is stationary, moving or being unloaded – and when the animals are being spelled.”
The regulations came into place after an extensive industry consultation process and have been supported by a widespread education campaign.
DPIRD compliance officers will be visiting saleyards and areas throughout the transport supply chain to talk to industry stakeholders about their obligations under the regulations and make sure they do the right thing.
Failure to comply with the regulations risk an on-the-spot infringement notice with fines ranging from $500 to $750, while more serious offences will be referred to the courts where penalties of up to $15,000 apply.
Mr Adams said the regulations reinforced a duty of care to animals and were designed to improve industry management practices and enhance animal welfare.
“The Transport Regulations embrace the concept of a ‘chain of responsibility’, where a person or persons have a clear responsibility for the welfare of animals from the beginning to the end of the transport process,” he said.
“The regulations ensure welfare of the animal must not be left to chance at any stage.”
More information about the Transport Regulations, including an overview, frequently asked questions, a short flier and a link to the legislation can be found on the department’s website agric.wa.gov.au by searching for ‘transport regulations’.
Megan Broad/Katrina Bowers, media liaison
+61 (0)8 9368 3937