Bobby calf videos for transporters

We've worked with industry to make a set of videos that help guide transporters on working with bobby calves. Watch the videos for tips on working with young calves and following the regulations.


Young calf regulations

MPI recognises that calves are vulnerable, so we've set clear guidelines and expectations for their care. We issued 7 regulations in 2016 to strengthen the rules around calf welfare.

Good practice guidance videos for transporters

These videos were developed by the Meat Industry Association, DairyNZ, and the Road Transport Forum, with support from the MPI Safeguarding programme.

Loading facilities (1:58)

From 1 August 2017, farmers, saleyards, and processors must provide loading facilities for calves to walk on and off a livestock truck.

Transporters need to check there's a loading facility where the calves can walk on and off without being injured. If there is no loading facility, don't load or drop off the calves. 

 

[Music plays as logos appear for Road Transport Forum NZ, Meat Industry Association, and DairyNZ. The title 'Calf welfare transport requirements – Loading facilities' appears]

Narrator: "Calves must be treated with care and respect and kept healthy and safe.

[Bobby calves are shown on a farm]

"It's important that bobby calves are not injured when they are loaded on and off the truck. No animal should experience suffering and everyone has a responsibility to keep bobby calves safe.

This includes farmers, transporters, saleyards and processors. 

From 1 August 2017, there is a requirement for farmers to provide loading facilities for calves. The reason for this change is so calves can walk on and off the truck, and don't get injured.

[Bobby calves being loaded into a truck]

"When you arrive at a farm to collect calves, a loading facility must be provided to allow the calf to walk onto the truck. As long as calves can safely walk on to the truck on their own then it doesn’t matter what kind of loading facility is used.

[A raised platform on a farm is shown – it acts as a ramp to help bobby calves walk into the truck.]

"Here’s an example of a raised platform. As you can see here, the calves can walk freely onto the truck. Saleyards and processors also have to have a loading facility so calves can get off safely at the other end.

[Calves are shown walking out of a truck onto a platform, then down a ramp]

"If a premises does not have a loading facility, or their facility doesn’t allow the calf to walk freely, then do not pick up or drop off the calves.

It is the responsibility of the farmers and the sale yards, and processors, to provide loading facilities. Not the transporter.

[The following wording appears]

"So, remember - check there’s a loading facility. Check the calves can walk on and off without being injured. If there is no loading facility, don’t load or drop off the calves."

[The logos for Road Transport Forum NZ, Meat Industry Association, and DairyNZ appear]

[End transcript]


Fitness for transport (2:06)

Calves must be fit and healthy for transport. If you don't think the calf is healthy enough, you shouldn't collect it.

The Transport Declaration Docket must be completed by the farmer and the transporter for each consignment of calves. If you leave calves behind, write down why.

 

[Music plays as logos appear for Road Transport Forum NZ, Meat Industry Association, and DairyNZ. The title 'Calf welfare transport requirements – Fitness for transport' appears.]

[Calves are shown on a farm, and being loaded onto a truck]

Narrator: "It's important that only strong and healthy calves are loaded on to the truck.

If a calf does not appear fit for transport, you should not collect it.

Here’s how you can tell if a calf is fit for transport:

[Image of a calf appears with the title: ‘Fit for transport – Tick all 8 to leave the gate’. The following 8 points appear one at a time.]

"Farmers must ensure calves are 4 days old and fed prior to transport. Ears up and eyes bright. Correct ear tag. Dry navel. No scours. Firm, worn hooves. Standing and walking.

Birth defects such as blindness or contracted tendons can also prevent a calf from being transported. If you don’t think the calf is healthy enough for the journey, you should not collect it.

[Meat Industry Association docket is shown]

"The slaughter plants require dockets with each load of calves you pick up. The farmer will firstly fill out their part with the date, time of last feed, ear tags, and number of calves to be collected.

[Farmer is shown filling out a docket then handing it to a transporter]

"You then need to fill out the docket with the following: The time you collected the calves and how many. The number of calves that were left behind and why – for example 'do not have a dry navel' or 'calf is scouring'. Take the top 2 copies of the docket - one for your company, and one for the slaughter plant. If the farmer has not filled in the docket, do not load the calves.

[The following wording appears as the narrator says them.]

"So, remember – make sure the calves are fit for transport. If you don’t think the calf is healthy enough you should not collect it. Check the farmer has filled out their part of the docket. Fill out your part of the docket and, if you leave calves behind, write down why. Take 2 copies, and leave one for the farmer."

[Logos appear for Road Transport Forum NZ, Meat Industry Association, and DairyNZ]

[End transcript]


Handling, loading, lifting and shelter (1:50)

Load calves onto the truck using the loading facility provided. Handle calves gently and with care.

Shelter must be provided for calves while they are on the truck, and they must have enough space to stand up and lie down comfortably.

 

[Music plays as logos appear for Road Transport Forum NZ, Meat Industry Association, and DairyNZ. The title 'Calf welfare transport requirements – Handling, loading, lifting and shelter' appears]

[Calves can be seen on a loading platform, and being guided into a truck]

Narrator: "It's important that calves are moved from their pen to inside the truck safely. Firstly, you need to move the calves from their pen in to the truck using the loading facility. To do this, walk behind the calves, using your legs to move them if necessary. Do not drag, throw, kick, or use electric prodders as this will injure the calf.

To lift the calves from the first deck to the second deck, use your legs and keep your back as straight as possible. Squat down beside the calf, pull it in close with one arm around the front and the other arm either around the hind legs, or under the belly. Straighten your knees to lift it. Hold it firmly and don't let it struggle loose.

[A man gives an example of lifting a calf using the process described]

"Calves should be walked from the bottom deck to the top deck of the truck, using the internal ramp.

[A man gently guides calves up a ramp on a truck]

"If necessary, calves can be lifted on to the top deck. Pick up the calf with one arm around the front and the other arm either around the hind legs, or under the belly. Place it gently on to the top deck.

[A man pulls a mesh screen over the top of a truck]

"Shelter must be provided for calves while on the truck. They must be protected from the weather, and kept warm, dry and clean. Once on the truck, calves must have enough space to stand up and lie down comfortably.

[The following wording appears as the narrator says them]

"So, remember – handle calves with care, for both yourself and the calf. Loading density must allow the calves to travel comfortably. Provide appropriate shelter during the journey."

[The logos for Road Transport Forum NZ, Meat Industry Association, and DairyNZ appear]

[End transcript]


Calf welfare is important (1:12)

The welfare of calves is a priority, and central to good farming business. Everyone in the supply chain – farmers, transporters, saleyard operators, and processors – has a role in protecting calves. Find out what transporters need to do.

 

[Music plays as logos appear for Road Transport Forum NZ, Meat Industry Association, and DairyNZ. The title 'Calf welfare transport requirements' appears.] 

Narrator: "The welfare of calves is important and at the heart of good farming business. Calves must be treated with care and respect and kept healthy and safe.

[Farmers can be seen caring for calves in a paddock]

"Everyone in the supply chain has a role to play in protecting the welfare of calves. This includes farmers, transporters, saleyards, and processors.

[Transporter, followed by a man in a yard are shown gently guiding calves]

"Lots of changes have been made to improve the welfare of bobby calves being transported for processing over the last few years.

[A truck reverses up to a raised platform for loading calves]

"But we need to recognise that these are young, vulnerable animals, so everyone across the supply chain must treat calves with care and respect and keep them healthy and safe.

Due the advent of social media our actions are being scrutinised closely.

[Several different media pages on animal welfare appear]

"It is vitally important for New Zealand's reputation with our customers, both domestic and overseas, that we uphold the highest standards of animal welfare. One slip-up reflects on us all.

This is why we are taking a proactive approach on how we look after our young livestock."

[Logos appear for Road Transport Forum NZ, Meat Industry Association, and DairyNZ]

[End transcript]

Last reviewed: | Has this been useful? Give us your feedback
Feedback