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Land Transport Standards (LTS) for Livestock

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Animal Biosecurity Branch
Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Group

Land Transport Standards (LTS) for Livestock

What are the LTS?

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock, referred to as the Land Transport Standards (LTS) is a set of nationally agreed standards and guidelines developed to ensure appropriate livestock welfare during the transport process.

The LTS are based on the revision of the Model Codes of Practice for Welfare for the transport of various livestock species and were developed cooperatively by the livestock industries and government in consultation with stakeholders.

The LTS cover the transport of livestock by road. A separate set of Standards, the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) cover the requirements for export of livestock by ship.

Land Transport Standards (LTS) [A5 colour pdf]  |  Land Transport Standards (LTS) [word]  |  Land Transport Standards (LTS) [pdf]

Why are the LTS being introduced?

  • To provide guidance for people responsible for the care and management of livestock during transport
  • To provide one set of standards which are implemented and regulated across Australia
  • To ensure appropriate welfare is provided for livestock during transport

Who does the LTS apply to?

The LTS apply to all people responsible for the management of livestock at all stages in the livestock transport process. The chain of responsibility for livestock welfare in the transport process is:

Consignor:

  • Mustering and assembling of livestock in yards
  • Preparation of livestock and selection as 'fit for the intended journey'
  • Feed and water provisions prior to transport
  • Holding periods before loading

Transporter:

  • Final inspection as 'fit for the intended journey'
  • Loading and loading density
  • Inspections during transport
  • Spelling periods during the journey
  • Unloading

Receiver:

  • Management after unloading

What is the difference between 'Standards' and 'Guidelines'?

Standards are the MUST DO requirements for livestock welfare.
Standards are the minimum standards of livestock management practices.

Guidelines are recommended practices to achieve desirable welfare outcomes.
Guidelines are the SHOULD DO and complement the standards.

Land Transport Standards and Guidelines

The Land Transport Standards are divided into two sections;
Part A - General standards and guidelines that apply to all livestock species
Part B - Specific standards and guidelines for each livestock species 

Part A: General standards and guidelines

There are six sections of 'general' standards in Part A of the LTS which apply to all livestock species, each of which contains one or more standards and a number of guidelines. Sections include:

  1. Responsibilities and planning
  2. Stock-handling competency
  3. Transport vehicles and facilities for livestock
  4. Pre-transport selection of livestock - MLA Guide Is it fit to load? [link] or Is it fit to load? [PDF]
  5. Loading, transporting and unloading livestock
  6. Humane destruction

Part B: Species specific requirements

This section of the LTS specifies the specific requirements for the transport of the various livestock species.

Each species section details standards and guidelines for:

  • Maximum permitted time off water period for the particular classes of stock (adults, weaners, pregnant or lactating females etc).
  • Minimum spell period (water, food and rest) once livestock reach the maximum permitted time off water period.
  • Any permitted extension of journey time where feed and water is provided in-transit;
  • Restrictions on the use of electric prodders in certain species / class of animals;
  • Restrictions on the use of dogs in certain species / class of animals; and
  • Segregation of certain classes of stock.

The species specific guidelines give recommendations on such details as:

  • considerations for long distance travel and fitness;
  • food and water;
  • loading density;
  • vehicles and facilities;
  • handling; and
  • humane destruction methods

Species Standards and Checklists 

Buffalo Checklist [word]
Cattle Checklist [word]
Camels Checklist [word]
Goats Checklist [word]
Horses Checklist [word]
Pigs Checklist [word]
Poultry Checklist [word]
Sheep Checklist [word]

Maximum Time Off Water and Minimum Spelling periods for Cattle, Buffalo, Camels, Horses, Goats, Sheep and Pigs when Maximum Time Off Water period reached

Species Class

Maximum time
off water (hours)

Mandatory spell
period (hours)
Cattle Cattle over 6 months old

48

36

Calves 1- 6 months old

24

12

Lactating cows with calves at foot

24

12

Cows known to more than 6 months pregnant, excluding the last 4 weeks

24

12

 
Buffalo Adult buffalo over 6 months old

36

24

Buffalo 1-6 months old

24

12

Lactating buffalo with calves at foot and buffalo known to more than 7 months pregnant, excluding the last 4 weeks

24

12

 
Camels Camels over 6 months old

48

24

Camels 1- 6 months old

24

12

Lactating camels with calves at foot

24

12

Camels known to more than 9 months pregnant, excluding the last 4 weeks

24

12

 
Horses Horses over 6 months old

24

12

Lactating mares

12

12

Foals less than 6 months old

12

12

Mares known to be more than 7.5 months pregnant, excluding the last 4 weeks

12

12

 
Goats Goats over 6 months old

48

36

Kids under 6 months

28

12

Goats known to be more than 14 weeks pregnant, excluding the last 2 weeks

24

12

 
Sheep Sheep over 4 months old

48

36

Lambs under 4 months old

48

12

Ewes known to be more than 14 weeks pregnant, excluding the last 2 weeks

24

12

 
Pigs Pigs

24

12

Lactating Sows and Piglets

12

12

Weaners

12

12

How will LTS be enforced?

In the Northern Territory, the LTS has been adopted under the Livestock Regulations. Compliance and enforcement activity will be undertaken by Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries Veterinary Officers and Livestock Biosecurity Officers. In other States, LTS will be regulated by government agencies responsible for animal welfare legislation.

Factsheets - General Information

For Agents

For Livestock Owners

For Truck Drivers

For Yard Managers

More Information - Useful links


Animal Biosecurity Branch - Biosecurity & Animal Welfare Group

Animal Biosecurity Branch - Contacts    

Darwin
Katherine
Tennant Creek
Alice Springs
Rob Wait
Berrimah Farm
GPO Box 3000
Darwin NT 0801
Ph:  08 8999 2034
Fax: 08 8999 2146
Josh Haigh
Katherine Research Stn
PO Box 1346
Katherine NT 0851
Ph:  08 8973 9767
Fax: 08 8973 9759
Tom Haines
Barkly House
PO Box 159
Tennant Creek NT 0861
Ph:  08 8962 4458
Fax: 08 8962 4480
Greg Crawford
AZRI
PO Box 8760
Alice Springs NT 0871
Ph:  08 8951 8125
Fax: 08 8951 8123
                  E-mail: ntnlis@nt.gov.au