Animal Welfare Standards - Land Transport of Livestock

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Animal Welfare (Land Transport of Livestock) Regulations​

The Animal Welfare (Land Transport of Livestock) Regulations 2013 commenced on 15 June 2013.

These Regulations legislate the standards contained in the Australian Animal Welfare Sta​ndards and Guidelines - Land Transport of Livestock and make them legally enforceable. If you're involved in livestock transport, these standards apply to you.

  Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines - Land Transport of Livestock   (1Mb)

They cover issues such as

    • Who is responsible for welfare when livestock are transported
    • Whether animals are 'fit to load'
    • Preparation of livestock for transport
    • Planning the journey​
    • How long livestock can be off water.

As a companion to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines - Land Transport of Livestock, Meat and Livestock Australia has also published a handy guide for the transport of cattle, sheep and goats:

  Is It Fit to Load?   (4Mb)

Transport of livestock – care and responsibilities​

When custody of livestock is transferred from one person to another throughout the transport process:

  • the person who accepts the livestock into their care and charge accepts responsibility for the welfare of the animals, including responsibility for ensuring that they are fit for the intended journey; and

  • the person from whom the livestock are accepted is responsible for notifying the person accepting care or charge of any issue that may affect the welfare of the animals during transport, including when they last had access to water, feed or were given a spell.​

Responsible person and their responsibilities

​Responsible person


  • ​Farmer

  • Livestock Producer

  • Person in charge of livestock

  • ​Welfare of livestock prior to and at loading

  • Mustering and assembling

  • Handling

  • Preparation for transport

  • Fit to load inspection

  • Feed and water provision prior to transport

  • Green feed curfew periods and effluent management

  • Holding periods before loading, that are not excessive

  • Appropriate communication with the next person in charge of the livestock (transporter, stock agent/purchaser)

  • ​Transporter

  • ​Appropriate transport vehicle for livestock

  • Final inspection and fit to load assessment

  • Loading density

  • Additional inspections

  • Welfare of livestock during the journey

  • Feed and water provision while in yards at depots

  • Spelling periods during the journey (i.e. animals are unloaded and have access to feed and water)

  • Effluent management

  • Unloading and alerting the receiver to any welfare concerns detected during transport

  • Appropriate communication with the next person in charge of the livestock (next transporter, receiver of livestock, shipper)

  • ​Shipper / Vessel Operator

  • Accepting or rejecting livestock on roll on / roll off vehicles

  • Fit to load assessment

  • Decision to sail with or without livestock on board the vessel

Useful resources


Animal Welfare Enquiries

13 St Johns Avenue,
New Town, TAS, 7008.