News

Follow national guide when rebuilding ramps and stockyards after fires

By Rodney Woods

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Australia recommends the use of the National Guide for Safe Design of Livestock Loading Ramps and Forcing Yards if livestock producers are rebuilding fire-affected livestock ramps or forcing yards.

The national ramps guide was published by the association in 2015 and developed in consultation with producers, feedlots, transporters, saleyards, agents, processors and welfare advocates.

The association's vice president and chair of the association's National Animal Welfare Committee, Mick Debenham, said following the guide would improve worker safety and animal welfare, as well as assist ramp owners in meeting new ramp standards expected to be published by Standards Australia in 2020.

“Loading ramps and forcing yards are the most dangerous part of livestock handling facilities,” Mr Debenham said.

“In 2020, livestock producers, handlers and transporters can no longer accept the unnecessary risk of crushing, lacerations and slips, trips and falls, and tragically, sometimes death.

“There is consensus within the industry that improved safety can be best achieved by keeping livestock and people separated, a guiding principle that is reflected in the ALRTA national ramps guide.

“By improving safety for workers, we also improve the safety and welfare of our livestock — the two go hand-in-hand.”

Free copies of the guide can be downloaded from: https://alrta.org.au/resources/ramps-guide/