ALRTA seeks responses on livestock ramps and yards guide


Draft document aims to help assess new facilities and design new ones

ALRTA seeks responses on livestock ramps and yards guide
Lowering risks in loading livestock is crucial.

 

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has released a draft Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards for four weeks of public consultation.

The voluntary guide aims to promote safer workplaces for those working at livestock loading facilities and to improve animal welfare outcomes.

Legislation requires that workplace safety risks be controlled as far as is reasonably practicable, the association points out, adding that Australian Animal Welfare Standards require livestock handling facilities be constructed, maintained and operated in a way that minimises risks to the welfare of livestock.

"The guide is a tool to assist in the assessment of existing facilities and aid in the design of proposed new facilities," ALRTA national president Grant Robins says.

"It summarises the potential hazards of livestock loading ramps and forcing yards and practical examples of ways to control associated risks for different types of facilities.

"General principles are identified as well as a series of model ramp designs, ranging from low-cost basic designs for farms to more advanced commercial designs that adhere to the guidelines."

ALRTA notes that Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria president John Beer has been a driving force behind the development of the guide.

"Loading ramps are the most dangerous area of livestock holding facilities," Beer says. 

"The level of unnecessary risk associated with crushing, lacerations and slips, trips and falls at some facilities is no longer acceptable.

"We have produced this guide in close consultation with key stakeholders in the livestock supply chain including producers, transporters, feedlots, saleyards, exporters, equipment manufacturers, welfare groups and safety authorities.

"Improving safety around livestock facilities is a shared responsibility and judging by the level of interest in this guide from across the supply chain I know it will make a big difference."

Stakeholders are invited to consider and comment on the draft guide and ALRTA aims to launch a final version at its joint national and state conference at the Light House Beach Resort, Bunbury Western Australia, July 3-4.

The draft guide can be found here.

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