Bobby Calf Consultative Process

The public consultation period for the proposed time off feed standard for bobby calves closed in February 2012.

Assessment of submissions from the consultation process considered:

  • the extent to which suggestions strengthened the intent and objectives of the standard and are based on science
  • the volume and variety of responses making similar suggestions
  • anticipated adverse impacts or unintended consequences from submitted suggestions
  • the importance and viability of implementing any suggested change within the regulatory system.

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) approved the final decision-making Regulation Impact Statement.

The final Regulation Impact Statement can be viewed here. It includes the consultation report below.

The consultation report can be viewed separately here Bobby Calf ToF Consultation Report Final

The Regulation Impact Statement recommended that, on balance, a mandatory standard for maximum time off feed, in addition to existing transport welfare standards for bobby calves, was the best option to further minimise risks to calf welfare. Based on cost-benefit, similar animal welfare benefits demonstrated by the relevant scientific studies and predicted national regulatory consistency, 30 hours time off feed was recommended as the outer, enforceable limit.

The decisions

At the Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC) meeting in May 2009 it was agreed that a science-based standard for maximum allowable time off feed for bobby calves be prepared through Animal Health Australia (AHA) for the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – Land Transport of Livestock.

AHA, on behalf of PIMC, sought comment from stakeholders and the public on decisions to be made as part of this process. The decisions were to:

  1. Develop a science-based standard for incorporation into regulations to minimise the risk to the welfare of calves during transport taking into account existing standards endorsed in 2009. The particular area of focus is the maximum time off feed (TOF) a calf can experience before, during and after transport.
  2. Demonstrate the need for the proposed bobby calf time off feed regulation for transport and its associated costs and benefits –done by preparing a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS): Bobby Calf ToF Consultation Draft RIS

Frequently asked questions