New mandatory animal welfare requirements for cattle, sheep and livestock at Queensland saleyards and depots have come into effect as of today, 1 July 2021.
The new standards are prescribed under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 and bring state guidelines in line with already established federal guidelines.
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin has welcomed the new guidelines and acknowledged the state government for "listening to industry".
"The new guidelines provide extra teeth to state law enforcers and removes red tape out of the system by aligning federal and state standards around welfares lifestyle," he said.
"The changes are a win for industry and a win for animals."
Mr Geurin said that changes were expected and inline with consultations that industry has had with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Biosecurity Queensland general manager an Queensland chief veterinary officer Allison Crook said the new standards are part of a nationally agreed policy.
"We recognise our producers already maintain a high standard of animal welfare and these new requirements will further improve welfare outcomes for animals in Queensland," Dr Crook said.
"The new standards, prescribed in codes of practice under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, are based on current scientific knowledge, recommended industry practice and community expectations.
"They provide clear requirements for all people responsible for the care and management of cattle, sheep and for livestock handled through saleyards and depots.
"There are minimum requirements for a range of animal welfare issues including housing, handling, sanitation, nutrition, water, veterinary care, and protection from extreme weather conditions.
"The new standards bring Queensland in line with other states and territories by applying consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia."
Dr Crook urged everyone involved with livestock to learn about the new requirements to ensure they understand what's required.
"If you have livestock, you have a responsibility to your animals," Dr Crook said.
"Everyone who owns or works with cattle, sheep or livestock at saleyards or depots must meet these new requirements.
"This means anyone who is in control of the animals including owners, transporters, saleyard operators and people employed to manage or handle livestock."
There are penalties for a breach of a code of practice under the Act, up to a maximum penalty of $40,035.
Some serious offences against the codes could also constitute cruelty offences which have a maximum penalty of $266,900 or three year's imprisonment.
The new mandatory standards replace the existing voluntary Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Animals for Cattle, Sheep and Animals at Saleyards.
For information about the new requirements, visit www.business.qld.gov.au and search for 'Compulsory codes of practice for animal welfare', phone the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23.