THE Gunnedah Stock and Station Agents Association is urging local producers and transporters to follow Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) fit to load policy.
The reminder comes in light of the region’s current dry conditions and larger number of livestock being transported.
Association president Nik Hannaford said animal welfare is everyone’s responsibility.
“Animal welfare is a top priority for everyone in the industry and within our region is always of a high quality,” Mr Hannaford said.
“This refresher is just to keep the policies that are in place at the front of everyone’s minds.
“Overall our message from an association standpoint is a simple one, if in doubt leave it out.”
Mr Hannaford said the association had not recently dealt with any animal welfare issues.
“When it’s as dry as it is and things get a little bit desperate sometimes people try and push the issue a little bit,” he said.
“Luckily we haven’t seen any issues around here for a long time and for us it’s just about reminding our stakeholders that the policy which has been in place for some time, is still in place.”
The Elders stock agent told The Namoi Valley Independent about the importance of keeping stock hydrated during transit.
“There are a lot of helpful pointers on the MLA website,” Mr Hannaford said.
“But I suppose the biggest one is water.
“It’s so important to keep stock hydrated when in transit.
“Planning ahead for the trip and ensuring that stock have access to water is just a really easy thing that most people already do that can go a long way to ensuring the welfare of stock.”
Current weather conditions are also having an impact on Gunnedah’s weekly cattle sales with more head of cattle up for sale each week.
“Hopefully we will see some rain around or something soon,” Mr Hannaford said.
“It’s very dry at the moment, we have seen it worse but being so dry it’s a good opportunity for us to get on the front-foot and be proactive about animal welfare.
“The price of good cattle in the Gunnedah market has remained steady but we are seeing more and more numbers come in each week.
“I think that boils down to it being so dry and a lot of people having no choice but to sell on their cattle.”
For more information about the fit to load policy visit www.mla.com.au
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