Land Transport

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock have been endorsed by the Primary Industries Ministerial Committee for legislation.

Click here for the Land Transport Standards and Guidelines

Progress report

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock are being regulated into law by State and Territory governments. The implementation dates for the Land Transport Standards by state and territory are:


In South Australia, the Livestock Transport Standards and Guidelines came into effect in August 2012. The Animal Welfare Regulations 2012 were remade on that date and included the Livestock Transport Standards written in a legally enforceable manner.


The Tasmanian Animal Welfare (Land Transport of Livestock) Regulations commenced in June 2013. The standards were adopted as regulations from the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for the Land Transport of Livestock.


The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Land Transport of Livestock) Standards 2013 No 1 was implemented in June 2013. The Standards are listed in Schedule 1 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulation 2012 as relevant Standards under Part 4 of the Regulation. There are minor differences from the national Standards and Guidelines where there was pre-existing legislation – these are dealt with by the insertion of notes in the appropriate clause.


The Land Transport Standards are prescribed (5 March 2013) by reference into enforceable regulations under the Victorian Livestock Management Act 2010.  The Act encourages livestock operators to demonstrate compliance with the Standards through participation in approved industry Quality Assurance programs.


Queensland regulated the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – Land Transport of Livestock as a compulsory requirement under the Animal Care and Protection Regulation in January 2014. Enforcement of these laws commenced from 1 August 2014.


In the Northern Territory, the Land Transport Standards have been adopted under the Livestock Regulations since January 2013. Compliance and enforcement activity will be undertaken by Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries Veterinary Officers and Livestock Biosecurity Officers.


The Land Transport Standards have not been regulated in Western Australia to date. A Bill to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2002 was submitted to the State Parliament at the end of 2017 and will be discussed in 2018. The purpose of this amendment is to give legal scope to regulate the national animal welfare standards and guidelines, including cattle, sheep, and transport of livestock.


The Land Transport Standards and Guidelines will be implemented in the ACT via a code of practice under the Animal Welfare Act 1992.

The ACT agrees that having nationally consistent legislation and documented minimum standards enforced across Australia is a positive step. Where Commonwealth and Territory legislation exists, the welfare of the stock should be the priority and higher standards should apply. The development of these codes of practice will require consideration of the standards and guidelines by the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC). Unfortunately ACT is unable to provide a timeline at this stage as they are awaiting advice from AWAC regarding the manner in which they believe the standards and guidelines should be implemented.


Page reviewed: 28 March 2017