The ALRTA has responded to a consultation paper containing proposals to establish new standards and guidelines for the land transport of horses.
Australian and State and Territory Agriculture Ministers have directed the Animal Welfare Task Group to review current standards in light of emerging research.
The consultation paper was considered by the ALRTA Driver and Animal Welfare Committee and interested horse carriers.
Their submission includes 24 recommendations covering issues such as time off water, rest, record keeping, prevention of heat stress, fitness for journey, loading density, mixing of animals, use of dogs and restraints.
Chair of the ALRTA Driver and Animal Welfare Committee, Graeme Hoare, said that achieving good welfare outcomes in horse transport was all about balance and education.
“ALRTA agrees that the Land Transport Standards applicable to horses should be updated and improved,” said Mr Hoare.
“However, this must be balanced against the competing demands of driver welfare, road safety, personal safety of horse handlers and practical considerations concerning the design of trailers and availability of supporting off-road infrastructure.
“There is also a need to better promote the current Land Transport Standards for horses.
“While professional carriers are generally aware of and adhere to the existing standards, more effort is required to educate private or occasional carriers.
“It does little good to burden professional carriers who are already highly mindful of animal welfare with new rules that will just be ignored by other groups.
“ALRTA looks forward to further consultation on refined proposals later in 2021,” he said.
Read the ALRTA submission here.