Overview of animal welfare codes of practice

Animal welfare codes of practice contain guidelines and information to ensure the considerate and humane treatment of animals. Animal welfare codes generally state that certain things should be done and certain other things must be done. It is important that you understand your obligations under the codes - ignorance is no excuse for inappropriate treatment of animals.

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 or in science, at saleyards or abattoirs, or when being transported). The codes outline the minimum acceptable animal welfare outcomes.

Compliance with codes is important because it:

  • provides animals with an agreed animal welfare standard
  • helps you meet a legal duty of care to the animals in your charge
  • helps industry show its commitment to agreed animal welfare standards.

This guide explains the animal welfare codes of practice, and includes links to codes for specific animals and situations.