ALRTA advocates specific changes to horse transport standards

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has submitted its response to a regulation impact statement consultation proposing changes to horse transport standards.

The proposals were recently considered by ALRTA’s National Drivers and Animal Welfare Committee and their submission supports the intended changes to horse transport standards.

This will mean new legislation and new or amended rules specified in the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – Land Transport of Animals 2012 as they apply to horses.

The standards provide a basis for the development and implementation of legislation and consistent enforcement across Australia and provide guidance for all persons responsible for animals during transport.

ALRTA accepts new standards that require:

  • a written record of last access to water
  • a carrier to manage welfare risks and take corrective action due to heat stress
    horses in poor body condition score (0 or one) not to be transported without veterinary advice
  • foals with unhealed umbilical stumps should only be transported to nursing mares
  • carriers to ensure horses have enough space to maintain a comfortable standing position and balance (instead of adhering to load density charts)
  • a ban on transporting horses in multi-deck trailers (unless only the lower deck is used and there is sufficient vertical clearance)
  • prohibition of carriage of mixed loads of handled and unhandled horses
  • removing hind shoes where horses travel to slaughter.

In a statement, the ALRTA strongly opposed a proposal to move from a 24-hour water-free time limit to a 12-hour travel time limit.

“This proposal is inconsistent with standards for all other species and introduces unacceptable operational/regulatory risks,” it said.

“However, we have advocated a reduction of the water limit time to 15 hours to align with the BFM fatigue rules.”

ALRTA expects a regulatory impact statement of the decision on the refined proposal to be published in 2023.

In other news, the New South Wales Government has replaced the wooden Sexton Bridge in Monaltrie with a new concrete structure as part of the Fixing Country Bridges Programme.

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