Cattle welfare standards open for comment

The public consultation period for the draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and Sheep is now open.
 
The Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF) have called for all cattle producers to have their say on the proposed changes.
 
Dr Brian Radunz, DPIF Veterinary Officer, said the consultation is an important opportunity for NT livestock producers to have a say on the significant welfare issues relating to cattle.
 
“Animal Health Australia is seeking comments on the draft welfare standards for cattle and sheep and the associated Regulation Impact Statement, which aims to demonstrate the need for the standards, and identifies the key costs and benefits for cattle, sheep, producers, government and the wider community,” Dr Radunz said
 
“The standards will create improved and nationally consistent rules for the care and management of cattle and sheep across all farming enterprises in Australia.”
 
The Standards and Guidelines will replace the current Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of cattle and sheep.
 
The standards are “must do” actions or obligations which will be regulated. The guidelines are recommended practices to achieve desirable animal welfare outcomes and will not be regulated.
 
The development of the standards and guidelines is a joint government and industry initiative coordinated by Animal Health Australia (AHA).
 
“These draft documents have been under development for some time, through a collaborative and scientifically based process involving government, industry and animal welfare groups,” Dr Radunz said.
 
At the end of the national decision process, the standards will be incorporated into NT legislation and become the legal requirements for livestock welfare, enforced across all states and territories of Australia.
 
The welfare standards cover on-farm cattle and sheep management practices,  live exports, sale yards, abattoirs and domestic transport are covered by separate arrangements.
 
“I encourage all interested members of the community to have their say,” Dr Radunz said.
 
The public consultation period on the draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and for Sheep closes on 6 May 2013.
 
Visit www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au for further details and to download the relevant documents.
 
Email cattle submissions to publicconscattle@animalwelfarestandards.net.au
 
Email sheep submissions to publicconssheep@animalwelfarestandards.net.au