The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle, prepared by Animal Health Australia, provide a basis for developing and implementing consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia, and provide guidance and direction for all people responsible for cattle. They reflect available scientific knowledge, current practice and community expectations.
Cattle in Australia are managed in environments that vary from extensive rangelands to intensively managed systems. In all cases, the people in charge of cattle are responsible for the welfare of the animals under their control. In achieving improved welfare outcomes envisaged by the standards, it is important that people responsible for animals have the necessary knowledge, experience and skills to undertake the various procedures and meet the requirements of the standards, in a manner that minimises the risk to cattle welfare.
Adherence to good animal husbandry principles is essential to meet the welfare requirements of animals.
The Cattle Welfare Standards provides standards and guidelines for the following areas:
- Feed and Water
- Risk management of extreme weather, natural disasters, disease, injury and predation
- Facilities and equipment
- Handling and management
- Castration, dehorning and spaying
- Breeding management
- Calf-rearing systems
- Dairy management
- Beef feedlots
- Humane killing
These standards apply to all those responsible for the care and management of cattle.