Animal health and welfare

Australian transport operators look after the animals in their care.

The reality is their livelihoods depend on producing healthy and content livestock.

Ensuring good animal health and welfare on trucks and trains means transport operators do everything from:

…assessing livestock are fit to load
…to manoeuvring vehicles as smoothly as possible and avoiding sudden starts and stops
…to moving livestock calmly on and off transport using low-stress stock handling techniques.


Let’s get real

Due to the sheer size of Australia and the isolation of many properties, livestock are often trucked over large distances without food and water and sometimes in extreme weather conditions.

From time to time, we’ve all heard a story or seen some footage where livestock aren’t treated as well as the majority of animals in the industry.

Animal cruelty cases are just as distressing to the industry as they are to the community. 

So, what’s the industry doing about it?

The Australian red meat industry has been proactive in creating new programs and systems to ensure and to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to best practice animal health and welfare. 

In a number of cases, our industry has led the world.

Here’re two examples of recent research our industry has completed to improve the welfare of livestock…

The ‘Is it fit to load?’ guide: This allows farmers, feedlots, saleyards and transport operators to quickly identify whether livestock are fit to be loaded for transport by road or rail to any destination within Australia. More than 12,000 copies of the hardcopy guide have been distributed across the industry since 2016.

TruckSafe’s animal welfare module: This is an audited quality assurance system developed by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association to ensure the welfare of livestock in the preparation and transportation of livestock by road (this program was previously called TruckCare).

The red meat and livestock industry has achieved a lot over the years, but there’s more to do. 

How transport operators know what to do

The actions transport operators take are informed by: 

Putting into practice findings from proactive research and development funded by the red meat industry to enhance animal health and welfare during transport.

Following the animal welfare module within the trucking industry’s TruckSafe quality assurance program.

Following legislated animal welfare regulations which are informed by the standards within the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.

Meeting their legal obligations as stipulated within the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Land Transport.