Animal Welfare Regulation

The Animal welfare regulation newsletter provides information on the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s role in ensuring that all livestock receive appropriate standards of care, and on the latest developments in animal welfare policies and standards.

Department continuing response to welfare incidents in the north

Cattle standing in pastoral area
The department is continuing its response to animal welfare issues in the north.

Staff from a number of areas across the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) are continuing to respond to serious animal welfare incidents in the State’s north.

Since December 2018, incidents on two properties – one each in the Kimberley and Pilbara – have resulted in the deaths of large numbers of cattle. These incidents are being investigated by the department’s Livestock Compliance Unit under the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

On both properties, the immediate concern for the department has been the welfare of livestock. As a result, staff from DPIRD have humanely destroyed a significant number of cattle that were very weak and unlikely to survive.

An important focus now is on ensuring that the animals that remain on the properties have access to proper and sufficient food, and appropriate access to water. Staff from the department are working closely with management on the Pilbara property to re-establish water supplies and move stock to areas where water is available.

Broad scale assessments of the rangelands, as well as seasonal conditions and local information, are helping to determine where any other at-risk properties may be.

The department is committed to supporting a sustainable and profitable pastoral industry, but also one that prioritises good animal welfare outcomes. These incidents have highlighted the need for a collaborative approach between DPIRD, other government agencies and the northern pastoralists to support long-term industry development.

If a person believes someone has caused harm to, mistreated or been cruel to an animal, they should use the RSPCA online complaints form or contact 1300 278 3589.