Health of Animals Regulations Part XII: Transportation of Animals-Regulatory Amendment – Interpretive Guidance for Regulated Parties
10.0 Transport of Lactating Dairy Animals
10.1 Regulatory Authority
Health of Animals Regulations 143 (1)-(3)
10.2 Required Outcomes
Every dairy animal in heavy lactation is transported as per compromised animals section 142 (1) – (6) and in addition are not transported unless the animal is fully milked in intervals not exceeding 12 hours from the previous full milking or is transported with its suckling offspring.
10.3 Guidance to Regulated Parties
While the section refers to dairy animals in heavy lactation as compromised because they are at the greatest risk of suffering from engorgement and mastitis, it should be noted that any lactating animal that is not milked at customary intervals can suffer equally and can become compromised or unfit as per the definitions in 136(1). Regulated parties are urged to ensure that all lactating animals at any stage are milked as required to maximize animal welfare and to avert findings of non-compliance. An animal in heavy lactation is considered compromised, and as such, requires special provisions during transportation to prevent the animal's suffering as caused by its engorged udder.
A dairy animal in heavy lactation needs to be milked at least once every 12 hours, or more frequently in some cases as needed to prevent suffering. Animals in heavy lactation can quickly become unfit, if not milked at intervals of 12 hours or less and are therefore at particular risk of suffering when being transported.
Persons involved directly or indirectly in the transport of lactating animals are to ensure that the date and time of the last milking as per Section 159.4(1)(g) of each dairy animal in heavy lactation that is to be transported is documented. This information is to be determined and clearly communicated in a timely fashion among all persons who are involved in the handling, loading, transporting and unloading of this animal in order to accurately plan the animal's transport and milking intervals.
Alternatively, a dairy animal in heavy lactation can be transported together with its suckling offspring on the same conveyance without segregation in order to allow the emptying of this dairy animal's udder by suckling.
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