20 May 2020
A hobby farmer from the Sunshine Coast is turning old four-wheel drive tyres into woven mats to help reduce livestock injuries and fatalities.
Taurus Mats create a safer, non-slip, surface for livestock in high traffic areas. They are made by weaving together used tyre treads and then fastening them with stainless steel bolts.
“Not only are injuries reduced but the overall wellbeing of the animal is improved by increasing traction and comfort underfoot. This is good news for farmers because they’re caring for their animals and saving money,” part-time farmer and owner of Taurus Mats, Owen Henry said.
The recycled products require minimal energy to produce and will be used predominantly in cattle handling and loading areas or anywhere livestock encounter slick surfaces.
Mr Henry has been conducting a trial on his Taurus mats for the past few months at two Queensland farms. “The feedback we have received so far is very positive,” he said. “The cattle are calmer, and our product has proven itself to be highly durable in the hard conditions.”
To date, Mr Henry has been making the mats by hand but that will soon change with the imminent arrival of specialised machinery from the United States. Tyre Stewardship Australia has given Taurus Mats a grant to purchase the gear.
“TSA is very proud to be supporting this project. People like Owen are coming up with innovative solutions to real problems,” CEO of TSA, Lina Goodman said. “These mats use end of life tyres, a product that we have plenty of and one that too often ends up exported, in landfill or stockpiled,” Ms Goodman said.
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