Caring for cattle during transport

Animals in the dairy industry need to be transported for a whole range of reasons including between properties, to saleyards and to meat processors.

To ensure they are well looked after the dairy industry in conjunction with industry bodies, animal welfare scientists, governments and welfare groups has developed national standards and guidelines for transporting livestock – The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – Land Transport of Livestock (known as the Land Transport Standards). These standards are based on existing Codes of Practice.

New national standards were introduced across Australia in January 2013, providing consistency of practice across the country.

It is a requirement under the Land Transport Standards for livestock owners, operators and receivers to comply with the new laws which specify requirements for ‘fit to load’, vehicles and facilities, time off water, journey time and more. The standards ensure that livestock must be handled, loaded, transported and unloaded in a manner that minimises risks to livestock welfare. Compliance with the requirements will result in good animal welfare outcomes and increased consumer confidence.

  • Everybody who has responsibility for animals being transported needs to ensure their welfare
  • All farmers must be aware of, and adhere to, their requirements under the new Land Transport Standards
  • The Land Transport Standards are for all livestock being transported in Australia including dairy cows and bobby calves
  • Failure to comply with the Land Transport Standards will be an offence and may lead to an infringement or court penalty
  • Information is available (see below) to assist farmers in understanding their requirements for the responsible care and management of their livestock during transport.

More information