Who is the ‘person in charge’ of the animals?
The ‘person in charge’ of animals is responsible for the welfare of the animal(s) under their control and reducing the risk to their welfare.
The ‘risk to welfare of livestock’ is the potential for a factor(s) to affect the wellbeing of 4 livestock in a way that causes pain, injury or distress. Poor welfare outcomes could include sunburn, hypothermia, heat stress, dehydration, exhaustion, abortion, injury, metabolic disease or death. Protection from pain, injury or distress is central to achieving positive welfare outcomes for animals.
If the ‘person in charge’ prepares to transport or transports an animal that is unfit, that person commits an act of cruelty upon that animal, and may be liable to prosecution under state or territory legislation. As such, it is also unacceptable for any party to coerce or intimidate the ‘person in charge’ into loading an animal that is not fit for the journey.
Who is the ‘person in charge’ of animals?
The ‘person in charge’ of animals changes at different points during the journey.
For example, as per the Standards, while the consignor is responsible for the preparation, inspection and selection of animals as ‘fit for the intended journey’ prior to loading, the transporter is responsible for loading and final inspection during loading as ‘fit for the intended journey’. Tables 1 and 2 outline who is the ‘person in charge’ of animals at different stages of the journey and the scope of those responsibilities.
The rail authority is responsible for livestock during the rail journey and the master of the marine vessel is responsible for livestock on roll-on/roll-off livestock transport vehicles during a sea journey.