Animals’ Angels meet with the manager of Animal Welfare Regulation for the LCU (Livestock Compliance Unit) to discuss welfare compromised sheep with advanced scabby mouth being transported and sold at saleyards in WA. We also discussed the assessment of lame sheep.
From what we are observing it appears that the DPIRD and LCU are not concerned with sheep who are suffering from potentially painful scabby mouth. Despite the pox virus being highly contagious and the lesions painful, this condition seems to be ignored by most of industry and considered as just one of those things because the virus runs its course in three to four weeks.
We believe a consistent approach to the application of the relevant sections of the WA animal welfare legislation must occur, however, it appears this is not the case. We were told in 2010 the DPIRD would separate their activities and policies from the policies of the LCU, however, it seems this may not be the case.
We have been promised the DPIRD publication 2010 Farmnote - Transporting livestock: when are animals fit to load? will be updated to include painful conditions. We trust scabby mouth will be included.