The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep have been agreed by State and Territory Governments and are being regulated into law by most State and Territory governments. The implementation dates for the Sheep standards by state and territory are;
In the Northern Territory, the Cattle and Sheep welfare Standards will be adopted under the Livestock Regulations in 2016. Compliance and enforcement activity will be undertaken by Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries Veterinary Officers, Livestock Biosecurity Officers and Animal Welfare Inspectors.
Currently we have assessed the Cattle Standards and will consult further with the cattle industry (NTCA) and others, prior to seeking Ministerial approval. Work on the Sheep Standards will follow later (the Territory does not have substantial sheep numbers).
The South Australian Cabinet will soon consider a submission to approve the drafting of regulations giving regulatory status to the nationally endorsed Cattle and Sheep welfare Standards. If approved by Cabinet, the draft regulations will be considered by stakeholders prior to settlement. Legislative review of the regulations should be completed later this year, with the regulations, if approved, to come into operation by the end of 2016.
New South Wales
The NSW Government intends to adopt the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and Sheep as prescribed guidelines under Section 34A of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979. This means that they will not be mandatory, but can be used as evidence in proceedings under the Act or its Regulations.
The Cattle and Sheep Standards have not been regulated in Western Australia to date. It is anticipated that they will not be regulated until after a review of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (WA) has been completed. Prior to the regulations being drafted, WA will be taking an interim step of prescribing the Cattle and Sheep Standards and Guidelines for the purpose of section 25 and section 84 of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (WA). It is anticipated that this interim step will be completed prior to the end of 2016.
Victoria intends to adopt the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and 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 the implementation will commence in 2017-18.
Queensland supports the adoption of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and Sheep for the consistent application of animal welfare standards in these industries across jurisdictions. Queensland intends to implement the Cattle and Sheep standards as a compulsory code requirement under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001. It is anticipated that implementation will commence in 2017.
The Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water is awaiting advice from the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee on which Cattle and Sheep Standards should be implemented as regulations under the Animal Welfare Act 1993.
Australian Capital Territory
The Cattle and Sheep Standards and Guidelines will be implemented in the ACT via codes 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 cattle and sheep 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), as such a date on which the codes of practice will commence is unknown at this time.
Animal Health Australia developed a series of common questions and answers to help our members and other stakeholders remain informed during the development of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep.
Page Updated: 12 July 2016