Cattle, sheep and goats undergo various husbandry procedures to:
- Improve productivity.
- Identify individual animals or mobs of animals.
- Prevent unwanted breeding.
- Enhance carcase quality and composition.
- Enhance fleece quality and production.
- Reduce the risk of disease.
- Monitor for the presence of disease and to meet the requirements of disease control programs.
- Decrease the risk of injury to themselves, other animals and people.
- Determine their age.
When carrying out husbandry procedures on livestock it is important to:
- Handle the animals in a way that minimises stress.
- Maximise animal welfare.
- Pay attention to occupational health and safety.
- Take workplace productivity into account.
Standards and guidelines
Over the past few years, livestock industries, government and researchers have collaborated to prepare new Australian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Animals. The new Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Animals will replace the current Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals. MLA is assisting with this, through membership of the relevant Standards Reference Groups.
The first of the new Standards and Guidelines, the Australian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Animals - Land Transport of Livestock, were endorsed by the Primary Industries Ministerial Council in May 2009. The new standards and guidelines will replace the model codes of practice for the land transport of various animal species and the provisions on livestock transport in the model codes of practice for the welfare of animals, including cattle, sheep and goats.
New Australian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Cattle and Sheep are currently being developed.