August 15 2014
The Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare 2010 has been revoked and replaced by a new Code which came into force on 13 June 2014. The amended code addresses the use of mnually applied blunt force trauma (a blow to the head) for killing calves on the farm.
- The amendment to the code of welfare applies to all people responsible for the welfare of dairy cattle and provides a minimum standard for emergency humane destruction:
- Dairy cattle must be rendered immediately insensible and remain in that state, until death is confirmed, and
- People undertaking emergency humane destruction must be suitably trained and competent in the procedures for handling and killing of dairy cattle.
Recommended best practice includes:
- Free bullet firearms shot between 5–25 cm from the head
- Shot guns should not be used to destroy adult animals
- The use of suitable captive bolt firearms, and
- The bleeding out of cattle as soon as possible after they have been rendered insensible
We suggest you review your on-farm practice for the destruction of calves in light of these amendments and also ensure any staff receive appropriate training in this area. It may also be important to check with your collector of destroyed animals as to what requirements they may have.