Overview of animal welfare codes of practice

Model codes of practice for the welfare of animals (animal welfare codes) 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 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 animal welfare codes are generally about keeping a particular type of animal or about particular situations involving animals. They outline minimum acceptable animal welfare outcomes.

Not all animal welfare codes are mandatory, but they are all important because they:

  • provide an agreed animal welfare standard
  • help you meet a legal duty of care to the animals in your charge
  • help 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.