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Livestock welfare is paramount

Thursday 30 August

East Gippsland Livestock Exchange (EGLE) staff have praised local livestock producers for their efforts in presenting cattle fit for sale despite persistent, tough seasonal conditions.

However, producers are being reminded to continue to be vigilant in adhering to Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines when presenting stock to the saleyards.

East Gippsland Shire Council Livestock Exchange Coordinator Jarryd Sutton reported the condition of most cattle presented to the facility to date has been good.

“Local producers should be commended for the job they have done looking after their stock up to this point,” Mr Sutton said.

“It is understood that local farmers have been feeding livestock for great lengths of time, and as the dry conditions continue some farmers are deciding it is unviable to continue feeding stock, or their reserves and availability of supplementary feed are too depleted to continue doing so.

“When this happens, it is understood that the stock must be sold. The circumstances faced by many farmers is that animal welfare standards must still be adhered to in these challenging times. Livestock too depleted of body reserves may not be fit for sale in a public saleyard.”

EGLE staff have been working in conjunction with Agriculture Victoria to ensure Council meets its animal welfare commitments, and is also offering information and support for its customers.

“EGLE will make available copies of literature in conjunction with Agriculture Victoria to help farmers assess their livestock and assist them in making the best decision for their operation,” Mr Sutton said.

“Council will have this information onsite at the livestock exchange and will also distribute to transport operators and livestock agents.”

Livestock arriving with a body score condition (BSC) of lower than two are deemed unsuitable for sale in a public saleyard, and therefore cannot be consigned to the EGLE for auction.

“We understand this can pose some difficulty for producers as they look to reduce livestock numbers, and we encourage producers to communicate with their stock agents about the most suitable option for their situation,” Mr Sutton said.

 

The following standards and guidelines provide detailed information on livestock standards and welfare.

  • The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.
  • Land Transport Standards and Guidelines.
  • Meat & Livestock Australia’s national guide to describing and managing beef cattle in low body condition. This publication is particularly helpful with clear diagrams and points of reference for assessing animals for a BSC.

Links to assist livestock producers in assessing their stock can be found on the East Gippsland Shire Council website eastgippsland.vic.gov.au/livestockexchange.

 

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