THE RSPCA has backed down on its push to end the sale of livestock in saleyards.In a set of welfare guidelines released last year, the RSPCA recommended that "cattle are not consigned through saleyards".
But RSPCA president Lynne Bradshaw said yesterday that the animal welfare group was "not calling for a ban on saleyards".
"While RSPCA Australia strongly encourages the direct consignment of farm animals because of the inherent stress caused by multiple transport and handling, we recognise that for many producers saleyards will continue to be part of the supply chain," she said in a statement.
Ms Bradshaw said the RSPCA was working with saleyard operators to improve animal welfare.
Landmark national livestock director Mark Barton said the Australian livestock industry "prides itself on rigorous best practice standards".
"We work very hard to maintain state-of-the-art, functional and safe saleyards for animals and for people," Mr Barton said.
The RSPCA's 15-page document of welfare guidelines for cattle was "designed to assist the beef cattle industry to continually improve and demonstrate high animal welfare".
"The guidelines outline the RSPCA's vision for higher welfare practices in the beef cattle industry in the short to medium term," the document stated.
A section on transporting animals said they should "not endure unnecessarily long journey times" and suggested that "cattle destined for slaughter are transported to the nearest available abattoir".