Wellard Rural Exports is one of the world’s leading livestock exporters and a global agribusiness. Its principal business is the supply of live sheep and cattle to the Middle East and Asia, as well as a network of meat processing facilities in Australia, South East Asia and the Middle East.
Wellard’s pre-export quarantine facility based in Baldivis, Western Australia, is licenced to hold just over 100,000 sheep. General Manager Paul Gault oversees the facility and with the help of the ProWay 12m Bulk Handler, they can now process sheep safely and with minimal stress.
“Hundreds of thousands of lambs and sheep pass through this facility every year. Previously we’ve just done them in a normal drenching race, which is fairly labour intensive. Since installing the Bulk Handler, there’s a huge improvement compared to the way we used to work sheep”.
The ProWay Bulk Handler is designed to position sheep and lambs at a height where varied husbandry operations can be undertaken efficiently. Sheep are ushered into the race, then lifted hydraulically bringing them to waist height of the operator. The sheep are suspended on their underside and are within comfortable reach for a variety of treatments. Because of this natural position, the sheep become passive and submissive, allowing the operator to undertake the required husbandry operations.
Throughput levels are very high for the bulk handler, as handling and filling times are quick and labour efficient. Operator fatigue and the need for physical strength are minimised with the operator also physically separated from potentially hazardous chemicals or medication being applied. This isolation minimises injury risk for the operator, while ensuring each animal receives a correct and accurate dosage.
Wellard Rural Exports use the ProWay 12m Bulk Handler for all animal husbandry practices on their lambs and sheep prior to being exported overseas. This includes ear tagging, drenching, parasite and antibiotic treatments.
“The last shipment we did was to Israel and included 30,000 cross-bred lambs. We had to do an ear tag, an antibiotic needle, oral drench and external parasite treatments. It’s a lot of jobs to have to do at a one-time which was made so much easier with the bulk handler”.
The ability to complete husbandry practices in such an efficient and safe manner, means a reduction in injuries to employees, while offering productivity gains.
“One of the biggest risks is people getting hit in the legs by sheep. So, it’s a combination of safety for our staff plus the additional welfare of the animals”.
“Previously when we were doing big mobs of sheep, we might have six or eight people going hard to try and do it quick enough so that the sheep don’t get trampled. With this handler, you can get through similar numbers – if not more – and you can do it with just two people”.
Wellard aims to supply quality livestock at both voyage start and end, ensuring they are always at the forefront of animal welfare improvements.
“We’ve had a real push on safety, which has allowed us to make the investment in the bulk handler and we haven’t regretted it one bit. It’s become a lot easier to get people to volunteer for this job and everyone comes out of it a lot fresher and a lot happier, including the animals”.
With the ProWay Bulk Handler available in six and twelve metre units, it has the ability to be used for farming and primary production operations, up to large scale commercial facilities. A mobile handler is also available for use between multiple facilities.
For Paul and the team at Wellard Rural Exports, ProWay’s innovative handler has ensured the business can remain efficient, safe and profitable.
“I can definitely recommend this piece of equipment. It has been brilliant. The fact that you can do it all by yourself quite easily is incredible. I’d definitely recommend the bulk handler to anybody out there who is looking to make their life easier when it comes to handling livestock”.