AgForce has welcomed the State Government’s decision to convert the Australian Animal Welfare Standards for cattle, sheep and livestock at saleyards and depots into codes of practice.
The new codes of practice, which came into force on 1 July, under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, will replace the current voluntary codes of practice.
Vital for market access and consumer confidence, the standards demonstrate to industry, international trading partners and the community that Queensland is committed to the humane and considerate treatment of cattle and sheep.
The change was implemented following a consultation process which saw AgForce Cattle and Sheep & Wool Boards advocate for the codes to be an exact copy of the national Animal Welfare Standards.
AgForce is now in discussions with the State Government’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry regarding the implementation of the codes, which includes accreditation schemes and how they should operate.
In particular, we support the accreditation requirements for cattle spaying to be the same as in the national standards and are working with DAF to develop an implementation process and timeframe which will reflect this in the context of industry current practice and seasonality.
While Queensland producers already maintain a high standard of animal welfare, these new codes will bring us in line with other states and territories by applying consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia.
All people responsible for the care and management of cattle and sheep in Queensland, and all livestock at saleyards and depots, will need to familiarise themselves with the new standards and ensure they understand what they will be required to do.
It will be the responsibility of any person in charge of the animal to make sure these requirements are met. This includes anyone who is in control of the animals including owners, transporters, saleyard operators and anyone employed to manage or handle livestock.
The new codes of practice are available online, as are the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.