Managing the environmental impacts of cattle feedlots

Keeping cattle in a feedlot means your business must comply with several laws covering management of environmental impacts such as odour, noise, dust and waste disposal.

Managing a cattle feedlot is classed as an environmentally relevant activity (ERA) under the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008 (Qld). 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.

Beef production in feedlots needs less land and fewer cattle than pasture grazing. Less stress is placed on the environment and fewer greenhouse gases are emitted to produce the same amount of beef. You can place cattle in feedlots to ensure adequate nutrition during seasonal changes such as drought.

Before establishing or buying a cattle feedlot, you should investigate your legal obligations to protect the environment.

This guide provides an overview of the laws and regulations that control the environmental impact of cattle feedlots, scenarios not considered to be intensive animal feedlotting, as well as techniques and tools you can use to manage the environmental impact of cattle feedlots.