Bobby Calf Consultative Process

The public consultation period for the proposed time off feed standard for bobby calves closed in Febuary 2012. Animal Health Australia thanks you for your submission and interest.

Assessment of submissions from the consultation process considered:

  • the extent to which suggestions strengthened the intent and objectives of the standard and are based on science
  • the volume and variety of responses making similar suggestions
  • anticipated adverse impacts or unintended consequences from submitted suggestions
  • the importance for and viability of implementing any suggested change within the regulatory system.

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) has approved the final decision-making Regulation Impact Statement.

The decision to endorse and implement the 30 hour time off feed standard for bobby calves now falls to:

The final Regulation Impact Statement can be viewed here, Bobby Calf ToF Decision RIS OBPR endorsed Final, it includes the consultation report below.

The consultation report can be viewed separately here Bobby Calf ToF Consultation Report Final

The Regulation Impact Statement recommended that, on balance, a mandatory standard for maximum time off feed, in addition to existing transport welfare standards for bobby calves, was the best option to further minimise risks to calf welfare. On the basis of cost benefit, similar animal welfare benefits demonstrated by the relevant scientific studies and predicted national regulatory consistency, 30 hours time of feed was recommended as the outer, enforceable limit.

The decisions

At the Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC) meeting on 21 May 2009 it was agreed that a science-based standard for maximum allowable time off feed for bobby calves be prepared through Animal Health Australia (AHA) for the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – Land Transport of Livestock.

AHA, on behalf of PIMC, sought comment from stakeholders and the public on decisions to be made as part of this process. The decisions are:

  1. To develop a science-based standard for incorporation into regulations to minimise the risk to the welfare of calves during transport taking into account existing standards endorsed in 2009 Click here to visit the website for the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – Land Transport of Livestock. The particular area of focus is the maximum time off feed (TOF) a calf can experience before, during and after transport.
  2. To demonstrate the need for the proposed bobby calf time off feed regulation for transport and its associated costs and benefits – this is done by preparing a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS): Bobby Calf ToF Consultation Draft RIS

What was consulted on?

AHA sought views from interested parties about how well:

  • The proposed standard amendment to SB4.5 B4 Specific requirement for the land transport of cattle for a maximum of 30 hours without a liquid feed from the time of last feeding to the next feed or slaughter of the calf, contributes to the necessary specifications for protecting the welfare of calves while being transported.

It was proposed that the standard SB4.5 be amended by the addition of the following clause:

“be slaughtered or fed within 30 hours from last feed.”

Who is the consultation for?

The public consultation seeks views from people interested in the land transport of bobby calves, including those people directly or indirectly affected by the implementation of the Land Transport Standards and/or who have not yet had the opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment to the standards for the Land Transport of Livestock or the Bobby Calf TOF RIS. This consultation will contribute to the decision making process.

The process has included a range of formal and informal activities, including formation and operation of the AHA Bobby Calf Forum (Reference Group) which liaises with the Animal Welfare Committee (AWC). The Bobby Calf Forum is comprised of key stakeholders who have formal responsibility for bobby calf transport and/or who would be most directly affected by the bobby calf standard (representing the dairy industry, livestock transporters, saleyards, abattoirs and government agencies) and animal welfare organisations (RSPCA and Animals Australia). Representatives from these stakeholder groups have met several times to assist with drafting the TOF bobby calf standard. It is noted that the proposed standard is not supported by the animal welfare organisations mentioned above.

The Dairy Industry and the Australian Government commissioned an Australian study into the impact of 30 hours TOF. Fisher report – a summary

How were submissions processed?

All submissions in written form will be considered public documents. Submissions from organisations will be posted on the website. Submissions from individuals will not be listed, unless judged to be sufficiently of note by the working group.

All comments will be considered carefully by AHA and the Bobby Calf Working Group. Significantly different points of view will be summarised in the final RIS and an appendix of submitters attached.

Assessment of submissions from the consultation process considered:

  • the extent to which suggestions strengthen the intent and objectives of the Standards and are based on science;
  • the volume and variety of responses making similar suggestions;
  • anticipated adverse impacts or unintended consequences from submitted suggestions; and
  • the importance for and viability of implementing any suggested change within the regulatory system.

 

Page reviewed: 12 January 2015