Ensure Calves Go To Saleyards in Good Condition

26 May, 1999

With autumn calving well under way, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says there has been the usual seasonal influx of calves at saleyards and a senior animal welfare adviser in MAF's Enforcement Unit is reminding owners to ensure that only calves of high standard are presented for sale.

Ross Burnell said care must also be taken to ensure that during the journey to the saleyards the calves are protected from the elements.

Mr Burnell said calves should be in good health and robust enough to withstand the journey to the saleyards. "The calves should be at least four days old and be free of disease, deformity or disability. Calves should be clean and have been kept in hygienic conditions."

He said it was important to select only those calves that are alert and able to rise from a lying position and once up be capable of moving freely. Prior to transport to the sales calves should be adequately fed on milk or colostrum.

Calves must be transported in vehicles with enclosed fronts to prevent wind chill, Mr Burnell said, and covers must be positioned to give maximum protection to the calves but allow them adequate ventilation. "It's also important to ensure limbs or heads don't protrude outside the sides and top of the vehicle or trailer." Those responsible for the transport of calves have an obligation under the Animals Protection Act 1960 to provide comfortable and secure accommodation for any animal being transported.

It is also important to provide appropriate shelter from heat, wind, cold or rain during transport and at the saleyard itself. "Saleyard operators must provide adequate care and conditions for the calves whilst in their care. If owners are careful in the selection of calves and ensure good welfare conditions for them at all times they should be rewarded with the best price for their animals," Mr Burnell said.

Media inquiries to:
Ross Burnell, Senior Adviser (Animal Welfare), MAF Enforcement Unit, Ph. 09 256 6423.



Last Updated: 10 September 2010

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