Ramps add value at Leongatha

Shane Knight.THE Livestock Transporters Association of Victoria is impressed with the new two-deck loading ramps recently installed at VLE Leongatha.

As anyone who handles cattle knows, the risk of injury while handling cattle in a yard environment is very high. There have been many injuries and even deaths while doing so.

The new ramps at Leongatha designed by Proway (Prattley) are among the best facilities anywhere in the country.

They are not only safer for drivers loading cattle but are better for livestock as the risk of injury and stress to them is also reduced.

The livestock transport industry is not on its own with regard to finding good staff, but with the added risk that a livestock transporter faces when handling and loading stock at poor facilities – either on farm or at saleyards and abattoirs – it is near impossible to get and keep good staff.

The LTAV is currently doing a lot of work behind the scenes to bring loading-unloading facilities up to 2011 standards.

Quite frankly there are far too many sub-standard facilities in use around the country. It is high time livestock transport drivers where given ramps that meet the same safety standards as all other workers expect in other industries.

We don’t want to name the ordinary facilities but something has to be done.

Many injuries go unreported and unrecorded.

The younger generation, coming into the industry, is starting to ask why we put up with sub-standard facilities.

Among the better ramps are Hamilton, Shepparton, Euroa, Echuca and Tongala abattoir.

In many cases the forcing and drafting yards behind the ramps are not up to scratch either.

The LTAV has had an approved set of ramp plans on our website available for free.

Producers should give some thought to their yards and ramps. Some are very good, built for little cost; others are shocking and should not be used.

New health and safety laws mean the chain of responsibility includes the owner of the yards/ramps and they are liable if someone is hurt.

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