Calm cattle after supplement dose

Zach RelphCountryman
DIT Technologies chief executive and founder Mark Peart.
Camera IconDIT Technologies chief executive and founder Mark Peart. Credit: DIT Technologies

Queensland ag-tech developer DIT Technologies says a water supplement trial on board a Wellard vessel to South-East Asia could emerge as key to improving animal welfare during sea voyages.

The Mark Peart-founded firm, based in Toowoomba, last month completed its first welfare trials with Wellard, adding a calming supplement — CALM Export — to the ship’s drinking water.

The voyage on board the Ocean Ute livestock carrier, which was 12 days from Townsville to Vietnam earlier this month, used DIT’s dosing technology to proportionally dose the supplement.

More than 600 treated cattle were dosed and tested against a control group to understand the supplement’s effectiveness to provide a measurable improvement in animal welfare. Wellard export operations manager Ben Giblett said the trial’s results were promising.

“Most notably the behaviour of the treated mob at discharge and once delivered to our client’s feedlot was consistent with cattle that are calm and content in their new environment,” he said.

“If we can replicate these sorts of results in further trials, I can see this being an important addition to the toolkit for our industry.

“Not only from an animal welfare point of view but in being able to add value to our export client’s business by supplying cattle that can perform better on receipt.”

The CALM export supplement is made up of multiple ingredients including cobalt, copper, magnesium and manganese.

It is intended to bolster animal welfare standards and reduce livestock deaths while at sea.

Mr Peart said DIT was focused on developing into an international and animal health technology business.

“We’re an ambitious company and we have a very clear road map of what needs to be done and achieved to continue to be Australia’s fastest growing and cutting-edge ag-tech business,” he said.

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