Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: We are currently updating information following recent Queensland and Australian Government announcements. Find assistance and support for coronavirus affected businesses and industries.

Cattle feeding activities

In Queensland, there are a number of scenarios considered not to be intensive animal feedlotting, as defined in the Environmental Protection Regulation 2019. These include:

  • drought feeding
  • keeping cattle on a feed pad in a paddock
  • keeping animals temporarily for sale, slaughter, shearing, milking, transport or husbandry practices.

Drought feeding

Drought feeding is the feeding of cattle in a drought declared area, where animals are fed no more than their nutritional requirements.

Backgrounding and supplementary feeding

Backgrounding is a process in which animals are grouped prior to entering a feedlot. The process involves supplementary feeding cattle in paddocks to improve socialisation and feed intake, and reduce health issues.

Supplementary feeding is often used in grazing systems to help meet production requirements. It involves supplementing the animal's diet by feeding appropriate minerals, vitamins and trace elements. This may be a regular part of the production cycle to help match feed demand to feed supply or reserved for times of drought.

Backgrounding and supplementary feeding may be considered feeding cattle on a feed pad in a paddock. Maintaining grass cover in backgrounding and supplementary feeding paddocks is essential for both the animal's health, and managing the environmental impacts from these paddocks.

Meat and Livestock Australia has more information on backgrounding and supplementary feeding.

Intensive animal feedlotting 150 or less standard cattle units

Intensive animal feedlotting 150 or less standard cattle units does not require an environmental authority. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) regulates the environmental impacts from these activities, however operators should always consider their general environmental duty. Operators should incorporate management strategies to prevent or minimise environmental harm to:

  • surface water
  • groundwater
  • community amenity
  • the natural environment.

Intensive animal feedlotting 150 or less standard cattle units may require approvals from the local government or other authorities before construction and operation. Contact DAF on 13 25 23 for more information about cattle feeding activities.