As the mating season concludes many farms will be looking to offload bulls and start making decisions over cull cows. It is during this time we see an increased requirement for veterinary transport certificates. It is a legal requirement that animals are fit for transport. The certificate remains valid for 7 days from the date of examination and the animal must be slaughtered at the nearest processing plant.
What we need from you:
An area to adequately examine and restrain the animal when required
The animal tagged with a recordable number for identification
The location of the processing plant and when killing space has been booked.
From a veterinary point of view:
Due to increased scrutiny being placed on transport certificates by MPI, there is strict criteria that we as veterinarians must follow. Below are common conditions requiring certification and the associated requirements.
Penile conditions: Bulls must be able to urinate freely, not have any haemorrhage, swelling, abscessation or discharge from the area surrounding the penis.
Cancer eye: the cancer cannot be larger than a $1 coin (2cm), confined to the eye of eyelid (not spreading), not bleeding or discharging pus.
Lameness: Great emphasis is now being placed on lame animals being transported for slaughter. Lameness is scored 0-3. Grade 2 animals may be certified fit for transport with specific instructions such as reduced pen density. The link below is the Dairy NZ lameness scoring system and I strongly encourage all farmers to view the following video to assess whether the animal is a suitable candidate for certification.