Scottish scheme updates livestock haulage standards

Livestock hauliers and farmers have less than one month to get to grips with the revised Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) haulage assurance scheme.

Alterations include new demands on wash-out facilities, water provision, vehicle signage and flooring.

The 2020 Livestock Haulage Standards come into effect on 1 October. 

QMS members will receive the updated standards through the post, a QMS spokesman said.

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A total of 30 changes have been made to the 2020 Livestock Haulage Standards, varying from rewording current requirements to adding new considerations and measures. 

New standards

  • Calm handling of livestock
  • Having an emergency contingency plan
  • Group sizes and horned cattle
  • Use of electrical goads
  • Cleanliness standards. Bedding must be clean, safe and suitable. Bedding is required for piglets under 10kg, lambs under 20kg, calves under six months and pigs under 30kg travelling 8-12 hours. 
  • Journey planning to allow speedy delivery
  • Vehicles/containers must have signage marking that livestock are in transit. Business name may suffice. 
  • Flooring must be non-slip or made safe with bedding
  • Containers must protect animals from the elements and provide air movement
  • For long journeys (more than eight hours) feed must be provided
  • New biosecurity section, calling for cleanliness of a driver’s boots and clothing and including a requirement for standing operating procedures on disinfection 
  • Hauliers must have standard operating procedures for cleaning/disinfection
  • New standards on dairy water from cleaning and wash-out facilities. Wash-out facilities must be usable at all times by all drivers and a written agreement is needed to use a third-party facility.

‘Robust as possible’

Kathryn Kerr, head of brands integrity at QMS, said: “As we emerge from lockdown, consumers are conscious of buying sustainably produced, quality assured local food. This makes it even more important that our suite of quality assurance standards is as robust as possible.

She added: “Throughout the process we have remained focused on ensuring the standards are practical and relevant for scheme members but also reinforce consumer trust.”