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A brief guide to Australia’s animal welfare standards

Animal WelfareFeedlot SectorOn FarmProcessingProduction

Guidelines for the welfare of cattle, sheep and goats are an important part of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy, and are just as stringent as EU welfare standards in improving the lives of farm animals. They are developed, supported and funded by the government, the Australian Dairy Farmers association, the Australian Lot Feeders Association and the Cattle Council of Australia.

The guidelines serves as the practical basis for implementing consistent welfare standards across Australia. They also exist to guarantee that those responsible for the care and management of cattle, sheep and goats are meeting the essential requirements, and can be verified as doing so.

These guidelines cover the daily care of an animal (providing feed/water) as well as care at important life stages (breeding, birthing, weaning, rearing). They also provide a rubric on how to approach the construction, maintenance and operation of facilities/equipment in such a way that minimizes stress or harm to livestock.


More information

For a full look at the welfare guidelines for cattle (including dehorning and dairy production), visit:

Cattle Welfare Standards
Download 1 MB

For a full look at the welfare guidelines for sheep (including wool harvesting, tail docking and mulesing), visit:

Sheep Welfare Standards
Download 1 MB

For a full look at the welfare guidelines for goats (including disbudding and dehorning), visit:

Goat Welfare Standards
Download 11 MB

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