Requirements for poultry farms
If you are operating a poultry farm in Queensland, you must comply with state and national laws and regulations.
Once you have 100 or more designated birds, you must register as a biosecurity entity.
When you register, you will be allocated a property identification code (PIC). If you already have a PIC, you will need to update your information with the number of animals kept on the property.
If your farm qualifies as an environmentally relevant activity (ERA), then you need to hold an environmental authority and other permits to operate.
Development permits and assessment
Contact your local council and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) before:
- purchasing land for a new poultry farm
- diversifying into poultry on your current property
- expanding your current poultry operation.
They will be able to guide you on the suitability of the site for poultry farming and any planning requirements.
Poultry farms that produce and supply food for customers (i.e. meat or eggs) must be registered with Safe Food Queensland.
The Food Safety Scheme for Eggs and Egg Products (Egg Scheme) applies to producers, processors or anyone operating under a preferred supplier arrangement for eggs.
The Egg Scheme makes it illegal to supply:
- cracked or dirty eggs
- unpasteurised egg pulp
- eggs and egg products without an accreditation.
To reduce the risk of salmonella in egg production:
- ensure your farm has a biosecurity plan in place
- read the food safety guides produced by Australian Eggs
- use the risk-assessment toolkit to identify and manage the risk of salmonella.
In Queensland, the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (ACPA) places a legal 'duty of care' on people in charge of animals to provide for those animals' needs in an appropriate way. The Act includes birds and their pre-hatched young.
These Australian model codes of practice apply to poultry and are adopted codes under the ACPA:
- poultry welfare code
- land transport of livestock code
- livestock at slaughtering establishments
- Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry.
The codes contain information and guidelines to provide minimum acceptable outcomes of animal welfare for poultry.
All production systems can be accredited under the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme if they:
- meet the eligibility criteria
- operate in accordance with the standards of the scheme.
Free range farms
To be certified as free range, farms must comply with standards set out by Free Range Egg and Poultry Australia (FREPA).
- National animal welfare standard for the chicken meat industry and guidance material
- Industry best management practice welfare manual
- National Chicken Meat Biosecurity Manual (PDF, 1.8MB)
- Environmental Protection Act 1994
- 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)
- Biosecurity Act 2014
You can also use the legislation search tool from AgriFutures Chicken Meat RD&E to see other local, state and national laws that apply.
- Last reviewed: 22 Nov 2022
- Last updated: 29 Nov 2022