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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

Livestock industries, government and researchers collaborated over several years to prepare Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines with which to replace the traditional Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals. Through membership of the relevant Standards Reference Groups, MLA contributed to this process.

The Australian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Animals – Land Transport of Livestock was the first of these new Standards and Guidelines to be completed, and was endorsed by the Primary Industries Ministerial Council in May 2009. The Australian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Cattle and Sheep were completed in 2015 and endorsed by the Agriculture Ministers’ Forum (AGMIN) in 2016. SA was the first state to introduce regulation on 15th April 2017 and other States and Territories are progressively following suit.