The development of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and Sheep has now concluded, according to Animal Health Australia.
If ministerial endorsement is received, the standards are intended to be used as the basis for developing nation-wide consistent legislation and enforcement for the care and management of cattle and sheep across all farming enterprises in Australia.
The development of the cattle and sheep standards and guidelines began in 2009 and was supported and funded by all governments and the peak livestock industries including WoolProducers Australia, Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Australian Diary Farmers, Australian Lot Feeders Association and Cattle Council of Australia.
The standards and guidelines project was established and developed under the previous Australian Government’s Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS).
AAWS was designed to guide the development of a range of nationally consistent policies to enhance animal welfare arrangements in all Australian states and territories.
The new standards and guidelines are intended to replace the:
- Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals Cattle, 2nd edition, PISC Report 85, CSIRO Publishing, 2004
- Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Sheep, 2nd edition, PISC Report 89, CSIRO Publishing, 1991 (revised 2006).
The standards are based on scientific knowledge, recommended industry practice and community expectations. If the standards are endorsed by the Australian Government, enforcement of the new legislation will be the responsibility of the state and territory governments.
A decision Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), which analysed any potential costs to individual producers as a result of the standards becoming endorsed, was recently endorsed by the Australian Government Office of Best Practice Regulation.
The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep and other related documents are now available at www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au