Sheep

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep

Progress report

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep were agreed by State and Territory Governments in 2016 and are being regulated into law by most State and Territory governments. The implementation dates for the Sheep standards by State and Territory are;

Australian Capital TerritoryUpdated: Nov 2020 The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep will be implemented in the ACT as a code of practice under the Animal Welfare Act 1992.The ACT Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) has reviewed the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep and provided advice to the Minister regarding the manner in which they believe the standards and guidelines should be implemented.It is anticipated that if approved as a code of practice, the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep will be implemented within the next 12 months. 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 animals should be the priority and higher standards should apply.
New South WalesUpdated: Nov 2020 The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and Sheep are prescribed guidelines under Section 34A of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979. This means that they are not mandatory but can be used as evidence in proceedings under the Act or its Regulation. Commenced 15th December 2017.
Northern TerritoryUpdated: Oct 2019

 

In the Northern Territory, the Sheep welfare Standards will be adopted under the Livestock Regulations subject to legislative processes and timeframes. The date of implementation is currently unknown. Compliance and enforcement activity will be undertaken by Department of Primary Industry and Resources Veterinary Officers and Livestock Biosecurity Officers.
QueenslandUpdated: July 2021 Queensland regulated the Australian Animal Welfare Standards for Sheep as a code of practice requirement under the Animal Care and Protection Regulation 2012 on 1 July 2021. A code of practice under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 is a mandatory code.
South AustraliaUpdated: Dec 2020 The South Australian regulations to mandate the standards incorporated in Sheep Standards and Guidelines came into operation on 15th April 2017.
TasmaniaUpdated: Nov 2020 Tasmania’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) has provided advice to Government on which parts of the sheep standards and guidelines document should be made into regulations in Tasmania. Further consultation is being carried out with key stakeholders. It is anticipated that the standards will be legislated and guidelines approved for Tasmania within the next 12 months.
VictoriaUpdated: Nov 2020

 

Victoria intends to adopt the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep into legislation subject to normal policy development processes. In adopting the standards into regulation, Victoria will avoid duplication or lowering of existing animal welfare requirements. It is anticipated that national standards and guidelines agreed to by Victoria will be adopted through the new proposed Animal Welfare Act. This legislation is currently under development.
Western AustraliaUpdated: Nov 2020 Western Australia intends to implement the standards set out in the Sheep Standards and Guidelines as regulations. It is anticipated that these regulations will come into effect in late 2021.Western Australia also intends to adopt the Sheep Standards and Guidelines as a code of practice under its Animal Welfare Act 2002. This will mean that, where a person has been charged with cruelty, compliance with the Sheep Standards and Guidelines will be able to be used as a defence to the charge and non-compliance will have to 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 Updated: December 2020