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In January 1998, the Board of Animal Health revised the rules regulating livestock dealers and markets. A new section in the rule addresses the care and handling of livestock at markets in Indiana.
Every person licensed to operate a market facility (including livestock auction markets, stockyards and concentration points) in Indiana must maintain a minimum standard of care for animals in that facility. Livestock housed at a market for more than 24 hours must have access to feed and water. Use of implements, such as electric prods, canes, whips, paddles or canvas straps, to drive animals must be limited only to the extent reasonably necessary to handle or drive livestock .
Occasionally, because of illness or injury, individual animals arrive at a market conscious, but unable to walk or stand without assistance.
State law prohibits markets from accepting delivery of these nonambulatory (or "downed") livestock. However, market facilities in Indiana may unload the nonambulatory livestock for the purpose of euthanizing the animal.
Markets must have written policies, procedures and equipment in place to handle animals that become nonambulatory after delivery to the facility.
By law, livestock that becomes nonambulatory after arriving at a market facility must be disposed of within 24 hours of discovery or receiving of notice of the animal's condition.
The Board recommends that livestock that becomes non-ambulatory on the farm or en route to a market be treated, or disposed of by one of three methods:
More information about handling techniques for nonambulatory animals and a livestock handling guide can be obtained from the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, 13570 Meadowgrass Drive, Suite 201, Colorado Springs, CO 80921, or online at animalagriculture.org.