Animals’ Angels presents animal welfare in saleyards to approximately 70 Victorian Animal Health and Welfare Officers. The Officers are empowered to enforce animal welfare legislation and prosecute for alleged breaches of those laws. Included in our PowerPoint were the steps needed to ensure the processes are in place within industry to:
- recognise all unfit animals
- identify and visually mark animals from sale and transport
- control the unauthorised movement of unfit animals
- treat or euthanise injured or diseased animals without delay
- make sure animals have room to move – both in sale and holding pens
- monitor for non-compliance in handling/transport
- control of owners of working dogs. Working dogs are often permitted to chase sheep into pen rails, to relentlessly harass sheep forcing them to climb on top of each other
Additionally, we asked the DEDJTR what action should be taken to address the following welfare problems:
- Bleeding broken horns exposing tissue
- dairy cows with large udders (not milked)
- uncut claws that could hinder movement and lead to pain and lameness
- other conditions such as eye infections/injuries, hernias, mastitis, deformities (given these are not always recognised as being welfare issues)
- and, what ‘bearing weight’ means
We also suggested the Victorian Animal Health and Welfare team support the appointment of an Animal Welfare Officer in each saleyard along with the necessary comprehensive training of the AWO in animal welfare. We also suggested each yard be encouraged to erect welfare signage – both for staff, agents and the public.
We sincerely hope our talk inspires the Officers to be more proactive and ensure the proper treatment and handling of animals is compliant with the relevant legislation.