About the animals at saleyards code

The Australian 'Model code of practice for the welfare of animals: animals at saleyards' is a voluntary code under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001. It provides guidelines to ensure welfare for animals at saleyards. It applies to all ages and types of animals being sold, whether feral, kept commercially or kept as a hobby.

The code outlines acceptable saleyard management practices, and encourages the considerate and efficient treatment and handling of all types of animals.

It has been developed in consultation with animal industries, animal welfare groups, and relevant state and federal government departments. It is one of a series of national animal welfare codes for livestock.

Aspects of the code

The saleyards code of practice is a guide for all stock handlers, including truck drivers, stockpersons, livestock agency staff, stock inspectors, producers, saleyard managers and staff, involved in the management of various species.

The code covers the animal welfare aspects of:

  • management personnel responsibilities
  • stock handling facilities
  • loading and unloading
  • animals requiring special considerations
  • industrial disputes at abattoirs
  • humane destruction of stock
  • bleeding out of sheep and goats without pre-stunning.

The code is not a comprehensive manual on how to care for animals at saleyards and does not provide detailed information on topics such as pen design.

Duty of care to animals at saleyards

Anyone who owns, manages or handles animals at saleyards may have a legal duty of care and be responsible for ensuring their welfare.

This includes:

  • stock owners (commercial and non-commercial)
  • stock managers
  • stock handlers
  • stock agents
  • contractors
  • saleyard agents
  • veterinarians
  • processors
  • transporters.

Other welfare codes relevant to animals at saleyards

Anyone involved in transporting livestock should read:

Also consider...