New emergency hotline to help livestock transporters in need


National hotline can be used to report livestock transport-related emergencies.

New emergency hotline to help livestock transporters in need
(Left to right) ALRTA vice president Graeme Hoare, NTI national technical manager Rob Waas, ALRTA president Kevin Keenan.

 

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) and National Transport Insurance (NTI) have launched a new national hotline to help respond to incidents involving livestock transportation.

The 24-hour service, dubbed LivestockASSIST, is free to use for all livestock transporters or anyone else at the scene of an incident.

The launch of LivestockASSIST "establishes a rapid national emergency response service so that we can minimise harm to drivers and animals in the rare event when things do go wrong", ALRTA president Kevin Keenan says.

The hotline (1800 425 782) is the latest in a number of initiatives the ALRTA has announced in recent times. Last year it merged its TruckCare program with TruckSafe and launched a national guide for the safe design of loading ramps.

"Over the past year, the ALRTA has taken a quantum leap in our approach to driver safety and animal welfare," Keenan says.

"These programs aim to prevent safety and welfare incidents from occurring in the first place."

LivestockASSIST is based on NTI’s successful AccidentASSIST service but tailored to suit the needs of the livestock sector, NTI technical manager Rob Waas says.

"LivestockASSIST includes the usual response options such as vehicle recovery, medical assistance, driver repatriation, trauma counselling and message referral services," he says.

"However, there are also special requirements when an incident involves livestock.

"Most importantly, special skills and equipment are needed to recover livestock from the vehicle, round up escaped animals that may be in shock and to make decisions about veterinary services."

Waas adds that NTI and the ALRTA have established a network of local contacts with the skills to respond quickly and appropriately to livestock transport-related incidents.

ALRTA vice president Graeme Hoare says the hotline demonstrates the industry is serious about preventing incidents from happening and dealing with them properly when they occur.

"NTI has been a long-term national sponsor of the ALRTA and their commitment to establishing LivestockASSIST demonstrates a deep understanding of the livestock transport task," Hoare says.

The ALRTA and NTI have been distributing information packs to all members about the new service, along with stickers for trucks and trailers.

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