Meet Australian cattle & sheep farmers, discover 100 research projects and learn more about what is important to the sustainability of the industry

Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is important to farmers, who work with animals every day. Good animal welfare is a legal requirement in Australia, and cruelty to animals is a criminal offence. In raising, breeding, transporting and slaughter of animals, the well-being and health of animals is a paramount concern for farmers and a great deal of research, development, innovation and effort goes into maintaining high standards of animal welfare. Find out more about how Australian farmers address animal welfare issues at all stages of the farming process by following the links below.

Welfare in Meat Processing

Good animal welfare practice is a legal requirement in Australia. Find out what Australian farmers are doing to ensure that animals are slaughtered humanely, with minimal stress, pain or suffering.

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Welfare in Live Export

Australia is the world’s leading supplier of live cattle and sheep to other countries, mostly transported by sea in voyages up to four weeks long. Maintaining animal welfare during the trip is an important consideration. Find out what Australian farmers are doing to maintain Australia’s high standards of animal welfare in export, and to reduce incidences of animal cruelty in destination countries.

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Welfare on Farms

Australian cattle and sheep farmers strive to produce healthy animals with low levels of animal mortality on farms. With large herds and properties, and infrequent mustering, constantly monitoring animal welfare is challenging. Find out what Australian farmers are doing to maximise animal health and well-being on farms.

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Welfare in Livestock Husbandry

Keeping animals healthy and safe can require procedures, such as castration, horn removal (dehorning), branding, mulesing, tail docking and ear marking, that cause animals short term pain, to promote longer term welfare. See what Australian farmers are doing to ensure best practice and minimal discomfort for animals undergoing these procedures.

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Welfare in Saleyards

Saleyards are public delivery and collection points where animals are taken to be sold and then transported to another farm, a feedlot or abattoir. The Australian Saleyard Code of Practice sets out required standards for animal welfare and safety in saleyards. Find out what the Australian meat industry is doing to develop stronger standards for animal welfare during sale.

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Welfare in Feedlots

About 2% of Australian cattle are in feedlots at any one time, and feedlots are carefully regulated, accredited and inspected to ensure animal welfare is maintained. Grain feeding allows maintenance of the cattle herd during droughts, and mortality rates in feedlots are lower than in pastures. Find out what Australian farmers are doing to improve animal welfare in feedlots, and minimise environmental impact.

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Use of Hormones & Antibiotics

Antibiotics are used on farms to treat sick animals, under tightly regulated conditions. Hormonal Growth Promotants, based on natural animal hormones, are used in some cattle to help them grow more quickly. Find out what Australian farmers are doing to ensure these substances are used responsibly, minimally and safely, without compromising animal welfare or meat quality.

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Welfare in Livestock Transport

Australia is a big country and animals have to be transported over long distances. Animal welfare during transportation is a high priority for farmers. Find out what Australian farmers are doing to ensure that animals travel safely and arrive at their destination healthy and unstressed.

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