Establishing or expanding a sheep feedlot in WA

Page last updated: Thursday, 12 January 2023 - 12:01pm

There are several key principles that must be considered when constructing a new, or expanding an existing, sheep feedlot in Western Australia.

Design considerations

  • Community amenity. There is a separation distance calculation specific to the sheep feedlot industry that should be used to determine the separation distance required between the cattle feedlot and the nearest sensitive receptors.

  • Surface water protection. This is achieved by catching and containing wastewater from the feedlot, normally through the use of drains and ponds.

  • Groundwater protection. Constructing an impermeable liner under feedlot infrastructure is the most effective way to protect groundwater.

  • Clearing. If clearing is necessary in establishing or expanding a sheep feedlot, please visit the WA State Government website for more information.

Regulatory obligations

  • If the feedlot has a design capacity of 5000 head or more, a works approval to construct and a licence to operate is required through DWER. (Link to ABD’s Guideline: How to Prepare a Works Approval.) Additional information on the DWER process is available here. It is recommended that you ask to hold a scoping meeting with DWER, which will ensure you are on the right track in siting, designing and operating the feedlot. 

  • Feedlots of any size need to seek planning approval through their Shire/City. To understand the requirements of planning approval for your shire, it is recommended that you speak to the Planning Officer (or CEO) as early as possible.

Industry guidelines and additional resources

The sheep feedlot industry is a growing sector. Information that is vital to understanding the requirements of a new or expanding sheep feedlot is:

For further information or advice, please contact Agribusiness Development at