New Australian Saleyards Standards, but not for WA
The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Saleyards and Depots were finalised in February this year by the nation’s Agriculture Ministers.
But, until amendments to WA’s animal welfare laws get through the State Parliament, they can’t come into effect here. This is very unfortunate especially since the agricultural sector was very involved in developing the new Standards.
The new Standards apply to the main commercial livestock species: cattle, goats, horses, pigs and sheep that are handled through Australian saleyards and depots.
The new Standards reflect the commitment of jurisdictions to a nationally consistent approach to animal welfare by:
• Promoting humane and considerate treatment of livestock handled through Australian saleyards and depots;
• informing all people responsible for the care and management of livestock about their responsibilities; and
• setting a minimum industry standard by defining acceptable livestock management practices.
Development of the standards and guidelines considered current scientific knowledge, recommended industry practice and community expectations. The standards provide a basis for developing and implementing consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia, while the guidelines are a useful reference for industry, providing recommended practices to achieve desirable livestock welfare outcomes.
When the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Saleyards and Depots come into effect in WA, which can only happen when amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 2002 are made, they will replace the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Animals at Saleyards, SCARM report 31, CSIRO publishing, 1992.