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How scientific evidence is used in Australia to inform public policy on the long distance transportation of animals

Author(s): Peter M. Thornber | David B. Adams

Journal: Veterinaria Italiana
ISSN 0505-401X

Volume: 44;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 101;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Animal | Australia | Long distance | Public policy | Science | Transport | Welfare

Most Australian livestock are transported at some stage in their lives and the attendant risks must be managed. Like other countries, Australia has location-specific challenges for the land transport of animals that derive from general geography and history, quality of the road and rail systems, design of vehicles and handling facilities, competency and experience of drivers and livestock handlers, and pre- and post-journey management of animals. Australia is a large and sparsely populated country and requires a risk-based approach which builds on equivalent outcomes and performance criteria to ensure good welfare for animals during long distance transport. There are shared responsibilities by owners and service providers along the transport chain. Governments work closely with livestock industries, transporters, stock agents, sale yard operators, abattoir owners, feedlot owners and animal welfare organisations to develop and then apply sustainable animal welfare standards and appropriate regulations. The Australian Animal Welfare Strategy sets out a broad and inclusive forum for this to occur in a consultative and cooperative manner and with the necessary input from science. Animal welfare is protected through a combination of codes of practice, appropriate transport standards, industry quality assurance programmes and the enforcement of laws and regulations.

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