Animal Health Australia (AHA) together with the Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA) developed the Australian Industry Standards and Guidelines for Goats in 2015. The industry standards and guidelines undergo a review by GICA and AHA annually.

The industry standards and guidelines apply to all goat farming enterprises in Australia from extensive grazing to fully housed systems to individually owned. The industry standards and guidelines apply to all those responsible for the care and management of goats.

The development process began in June 2015 and was supported and funded by GICA. Unlike previous standards and guidelines these industry standards and guidelines are voluntary, which means the standards and guidelines did not go out for public consultation and the standards are voluntary and not regulated by Government. Pending goat industry and ministerial support and funding, the public consultation stage, a Regulation Impact Statement and revision stages could occur at a later date.

The standards are written as if they were to be the legal requirements for goat welfare and use the word ‘must’. The standards could provide the basis for developing and implementing consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia, including for industry Quality Assurance schemes. The guidelines are the recommended practices to achieve desirable livestock welfare outcomes. Guidelines use the word ‘should’ and are designed to complement the standards.

The proposed standards are intended to eventually replace the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Goats and are intended to be used as the basis for developing consistent goat welfare management approaches across Australia. The standards are based on scientific knowledge, recommended industry practice and community expectations.

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