Animal welfare codes of practice

Page last updated: Monday, 3 September 2018 - 10:38am

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Codes of practice for animal welfare have provided useful guidance about the management and care of animals, mainly livestock.

The codes are generally about keeping a particular type of animal (such as cattle, pigs or poultry) or about particular situations involving animals (such as circuses, at saleyards or abattoirs, or when being transported).

About codes of practice

The codes of practice are not comprehensive manuals on how to care for animals. The codes of practice do not provide detailed animal care information, such as diets, animal accommodation or animal health regimes. This information should be sought from Grains and Livestock Industries, or a veterinarian or some other person with relevant expertise.

Some codes of practice are prescribed in the Animal Welfare (General) Regulations (Schedule 1). These codes of practice provide the minimum welfare requirements for the care and management of a range of animals. These codes have been developed nationally involving a wide range of stakeholders including State and Territory Departments of Agriculture, animal user groups and major animal welfare organisations, and widespread consultation.

While they are not enforceable, the prescribed codes of practice are used by the courts as a yardstick to assess husbandry and management practices in cases of alleged cruelty. Where a person is charged with cruelty, the fact that a person has failed to act in accordance with a prescribed code of practice must be taken into consideration by the court but is not sufficient on its own to prove that a person committed the offence.

The prescribed codes of practice can also be used as a defence to a charge of cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 for a person to prove that they were acting in accordance with a relevant prescribed code of practice.

The codes of practice that have been prescribed in the Animal Welfare (General) Regulations are listed below. For copies of the codes of practice, please click on the PDF links in the document list on the right of this page.

Livestock codes of practice

  • Abattoir - Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Livestock at Slaughtering Establishments
  • Buffalo - Code of Practice for Farmed Buffalo in Western Australia
  • Cattle - Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Cattle (2nd edition)
  • Cattle Transportation - Code of Practice for the Transportation of Cattle in Western Australia
  • Deer - Code of Practice for Farming Deer in Western Australia
  • Emus - Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Husbandry of Captive-Bred Emus (2nd edition)
  • Goats - Code of Practice for Goats in Western Australia
  • Pigs - Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Pigs (3rd edition)
  • Pig Transportation - Code of Practice for the Transportation of Pigs in Western Australia
  • Poultry - Code of Practice for Poultry in Western Australia
  • Poultry Transportation - Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Land Transport of Poultry (2nd edition)
  • Saleyards - Code of Practice for Animals at Saleyards in Western Australia
  • Sheep - Code of Practice for Sheep in Western Australia
  • Sheep Transportation - Code of Practice for the Transportation of Sheep in Western Australia

Other animals: codes of practice

  • Camels - Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: The Camel (2nd edition)
  • Circus - Code of Practice for the Conduct of Circuses in Western Australia
  • Exhibited Animals - Code of Practice for Exhibited Animals in Western Australia
  • Feral Animals - Code of Practice for the Capture and Marketing of Feral Animals in Western Australia
  • Horses - Australian Rules of Racing
  • Horses - Rules of Harness Racing
  • Horse Transportation - Code of practice for the transportation of horses in Western Australia
  • Pigeons - Code of Practice for Pigeon Keeping and Racing in Western Australia
  • Rabbits - Code of Practice for Keeping Rabbits in Western Australia
  • Rodeos - Code of Practice for the Conduct of Rodeos in Western Australia

Contact information

Animal Welfare General Enquiries

Further information on reporting animal cruelty is available.

Author

Rick Bryant

Documents