Environmental management for cattle feedlots
If you are operating a cattle feedlot in Queensland, you must comply with Australian and Queensland laws and regulations.
A feedlot is defined as keeping more than 150 standard cattle units in a yard or enclosure, where the animals are fed entirely by hand or mechanically and cannot graze.
These activities are not considered to be intensive animal feedlotting:
- drought feeding cattle in a drought-declared area, where animals are fed no more than their nutritional requirements
- keeping cattle on a feed pad in a paddock (eg backgrounding or supplementary feeding)
- keeping animals temporarily for sale, slaughter, shearing, milking, transport or husbandry practices.
Intensive animal feedlotting 150 or less standard cattle units does not require an environmental authority. However you may require construction and operation approvals from local government or other authorities.
To legally operate, you need:
- a development permit issued under the Planning Act 2016
- an environmental authority (EA) issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
These approvals contain environmental management conditions.
Apply for an environmental authority
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries issues EAs for cattle feedlots.
Use the licences and permits finder to find out what you need to include in your application.
Apply for an EA by:
- calling 13 25 23
- emailing email@example.com
- completing the development application process.
Register as a biosecurity entity
You must register your property with Biosecurity Queensland.
Local or site-specific requirements
Before purchasing land for a cattle feedlot, check with your local council for any environmental management requirements such as separation distances from houses.
You can also contact DAF to check if there are any site-specific requirements.
The National Guidelines for Beef Cattle Feedlots in Australia (PDF, 1.2MB) and National Beef Cattle Feedlot Environmental Code of Practice (PDF, 450KB) outline how to operate feedlots with minimum environmental impact.
- selecting a site
- complying with approval conditions for feedlot construction
- managing construction-related environmental impacts
- designing controlled drainage systems
- composting manure and carcasses
- using effluent and manure.
Manage environmental impacts
You must consider your general environmental duty and incorporate management strategies to prevent or minimise environmental harm to:
- surface water
- community amenity
- the natural environment.
- Environmental Protection Act 1994
- Environmental Protection Regulation 2019
- Vegetation Management Act 1999
- Nature Conservation Act 1992
- Water Act 2000
- Animal Care and Protection Act 2001
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth)
- Last reviewed: 22 Nov 2022
- Last updated: 29 Nov 2022