Land Transport

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

Progress report

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines — 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:

Australian Capital TerritoryUpdated: Nov 2020 The Land Transport Standards and Guidelines were implemented in the ACT as a mandatory code of practice under the Animal Welfare Act 1992 with effect from 18 May 2018.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.
New South WalesUpdated: Nov 2020 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.
Northern TerritoryUpdated: Oct 2019 In the Northern Territory, the Land Transport Standards were adopted under the Livestock Regulations in January 2013. Compliance and enforcement activity is undertaken by the Department of Primary Industry and Resources Veterinary Officers and Livestock Biosecurity Officers. Adoption of revisions of the Land Transport Standards are subject to legislative processes and timeframes.
QueenslandUpdated: Nov 2020 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.
South AustraliaUpdated: Dec 2020 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.
TasmaniaUpdated: Nov 2020 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.
VictoriaUpdated: Nov 2020  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.
Western AustraliaUpdated: Nov 2020 On 3 October 2020, the Animal Welfare (Transport, Saleyards and Depots) (Cattle and Sheep) Regulations 2020 (Transport Regulations) came into effect in Western Australia. The Transport Regulations implement the standards set out in the Land Transport Standards and Guidelines and the Saleyards and Depots Standards and Guidelines to the extent they relate to sheep and cattle. Consideration will be given to introducing regulations that apply to the remaining classes of livestock following the completion of regulations implementing the Standards and Guidelines for Sheep and Cattle.Western Australia has also adopted the Land Transport Standards and Guidelines as a code of practice under its Animal Welfare Act 2002. This means that, where a person has been charged with cruelty, compliance with the Land Transport Standards and Guidelines can be used as a defence to the charge and non-compliance must be taken into consideration by the court.

State/territory animal welfare legislation

The state and territory governments are responsible for the regulation of animal welfare in Australia. Each state and territory have an animal welfare Act outlining their animal welfare legislation. If your state/territory have not implemented standards and guidelines (see above), please refer to the below legislation.

State Legislation
ACT Animal Welfare Act 1992
NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979
NT Animal Welfare Act
QLD Animal Care and Protection Act 2001
SA Animal Welfare Act 1985
TAS Animal Welfare Act 1993
VIC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986
WA Animal Welfare Act 2002

Page reviewed: December 2020