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13 November, 2020

Feedlot industry pushes for shade by 2026

THE AUSTRALIAN Lot Feeders Association has this week announced an initiative to encourage all Australian feedlots to provide cattle with access to shade.

ALFA’s shade initiative builds on the industry’s commitment to animal welfare and continual improvement, suggesting shade enables cattle to display natural behaviours and aids in their comfort.

ALFA President, Bryce Camm, said the peak industry body was proud to launch the initiative, which asks all Australian feedlots to pledge to provide cattle with access to shade by 2026.

“This builds on the feedlot industry’s already strong commitment to animal welfare, and positions our sector for long-term sustainability,” Mr Camm said.

Research undertaken by Meat and Livestock Australia confirmed shade was critical to cattle welfare and comfort, particularly during abnormal heat wave conditions.

The data also indicated that shade could result in productivity gains, with increased feed intake and thus weight gain at slaughter.

“ALFA has had a long-term interest in animal welfare research, and we continue to support grain-fed levy investment through MLA in this area,” Mr Camm said.

“This includes projects to develop additional types of shade solutions for the feedlot industry.

“This initiative will build on an estimated 60 per cent of industry feedlots that already have shade in place, by asking all feedlots to invest in capital works.

“ALFA is encouraging all feedlots to consider the benefits that shade brings to their cattle, enterprise and collective industry,” he said.

“We understand the challenges that individual businesses may face in installing shade, and our 2026 target will allow sufficient planning and installation time.”

Mr Camm said ALFA was providing feedlot operators with information on shade design, standards and construction, and had developed an on-line Shade Resource Hub to help yard operators understand more. 

“Information on financing through Federal and State low-interest loans and asset write-off incentives is also being made available to feedlot operators,” he said.  

“We know that our consumers expect us to care for our livestock. 

“This shade initiative demonstrates our collective commitment to prioritising and continuously improving the welfare of cattle under our care,” he said. 

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