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Animal welfare top priority on travelling stock reserves

Animal welfare will always be the top priority when issuing permits for stock to utilise Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs), said Riverina Local Land Services General Manager Rob Kelly.

“We are pushing the boundaries as far as reasonably practical to continue to allow access for our customers,” Mr Kelly said.

“Up until June we supported stock both locally and from other drought affected regions including the Central West and Hunter, which totalled around 41,000 cattle and 37,000 sheep since the previous winter.”

“We have been fortunate that we haven’t been as dry as some of our neighbouring regions, but we’re rapidly getting there.”

Mr Kelly said while some reserves appear to have a ‘green pick’, feed tests have revealed that they don’t hold enough nutritional value for some type of stock.

“An assessment is carried out every time we get a request for a permit, and it’s issued based on a number of factors - most importantly available feed and water, which directly impacts the welfare of the stock.”

“We are obviously fielding a lot of enquiries at the moment and one of the main issues is that the mob must have a genuine destination. This may be property to property, or property to saleyards, but there just isn’t enough feed currently to allow stock to be put out on TSRs as an agistment solution.”

“With the current conditions, numbers are down to around 5,000 head as this is all the TSRs in our region can currently sustain.”

Riverina Local Land Services will continue to manage TSRs closely.

“Like our customers, we have to be thinking a few steps ahead, and we can’t utilise feed we don’t have or feed that doesn’t provide any nutritional value to livestock,” Mr Kelly said.

“TSRs play an important role in providing refuge for livestock in times of drought, floods and fires, and we will continue to manage them closely to ensure they can be utilised for this purpose.”

Media contact: Simone Norrie – Riverina Local Land Services – 0419 648 813