Animal welfare codes of practice in Queensland

The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (the Act) makes codes of practice.

These codes of practice set the minimum standards for animal owners in meeting their duty of care for particular animals. Codes are based on good practice and scientific knowledge.

Codes of practice are usually specific to:

  • a type of animal (e.g. sheep, cattle, pigs)
  • activity (e.g. rodeos, dog breeding)
  • situation (e.g. saleyards and depots, transport of livestock).

They include information about:

  • feed and water
  • housing
  • health
  • management practices
  • breeding
  • humane killing.

A code of practice may be compulsory or voluntary.

Compulsory codes

Compulsory codes of practice are rules that people must follow.

People may face a penalty if they breach a provision of a mandatory code of practice.

Compulsory codes are contained in schedules 1 to 8 of the Animal Care and Protection Regulation 2023 (the Regulation).

Voluntary codes

Voluntary codes of practice provide guidelines that people may follow. Otherwise, they must demonstrate how they have met the requirements of the Act (for example, how they have met their duty of care).

There is no specific penalty for not following a provision of a voluntary code of practice. However, a code of practice is admissible as evidence in a proceeding for an animal welfare offence.

Voluntary codes are listed in Schedule 4 of the of the Regulation.

Developing codes of practice

All codes of practice are developed through extensive consultation with stakeholders. This makes sure they are based on good practice and contemporary scientific knowledge.

Many of these codes of practice are based on nationally-endorsed:

The model codes of practice are being replaced by the Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines. These standards and guidelines aim to streamline Australian livestock welfare legislation so it improves welfare outcomes and is practical for industry.