At almost every calf sale a sick one or two shows up. Most of the time there is no problem with it. Usually it is spotted during the weighing and grading, it is tagged and kept separate. We call the owner and usually it is taken home until it recovers.
Occasionally though it is not noticeable until the next day. That is because when the cattle have been loaded and handled, warmed up, unloaded and moved up to the scale a sick one is not always noticeable until it lays around and has settled down. Then when we go to move the calves the next day, a sick one will hang back and be easy to spot.
Again when we call the owner usually the calf is just picked up and taken home to heal up. If we try to sell it no one wants to pay much for a sick calf.
However sometimes we find a calf chronically ill, near death or dying in a pen before the sale. Again usually the owner will just come and take it home but not always. Sometimes the owner is really upset. He claims the calf wasn’t sick when it left home. He wants insurance on the calf. We get a veterinarian to examine the calf. If he/she determines that the calf was injured in transit or at the yard we fill out an insurance claim. If he/she determines that the calf is sick and may have been for sometime there is no insurance.
The insurance is for accidents or injuries only. It does not cover sickness. If you say “It was not sick when it left home” it won’t help. It does not matter where or when it got sick, insurance will not cover it.
Our main man “Boots”, came up with a good analogy. If you leave home with your truck or car and the engine or transmission self destructs your accident insurance will not cover it will they? They won’t do it even if you say ” The engine was not sick when it left home”.
If you crumple a fender, roll over etc. it will be covered. The transit insurance on cattle only covers accidents as well.