Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines for cattle

This teaching resource assists students to investigate the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and consider how each selected guideline can be applied in practice.

Image: Calves must be provided with adequate shelter.
Image: An understanding of the flight zone of cattle assists in handling activities

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle is an initiative jointly developed by governments, industry, and the community, which guides the development of nationally consistent policies to improve animal welfare arrangements in all Australian states and territories. The standards provide a basis for developing, implementing, and enforcing consistent legislation across Australia, and provide guidance for all people responsible for cattle. They are based on current scientific knowledge, recommended industry practice, and community expectations. The development of these standards is part of a comprehensive program agreed upon by industry and governments to develop standards and guidelines for all commercial livestock species and at all points along the production supply chain.

These standards and guidelines make it clear that everyone who works with cattle must know and understand the standards and guidelines, and is responsible for the welfare of the cattle they manage or work with.

Completing this activity will assist students in learning the following syllabus content:

HSC Agriculture

Animal ethics and welfare: Ethics, welfare, and legal issues and requirements

  • discuss the factors that should be considered when carrying out a particular husbandry practice to reduce the negative welfare impacts to the animal, including use of appropriate equipment, skill of the operator, timing of the animal practice, and management of the animals after completion of practice
  • investigate animal welfare legislation for a specific farm animal and discuss the implications of the legislation for the relevant production system.

Agricultural Technology Years 7-10

  • Introduction to agriculture: investigate procedures in the management of plants and animals within animal welfare guidelines
  • Animal production 1: plan and undertake procedures in the management of an animal enterprise within animal welfare guidelines
  • Animal production 2: investigate Australian animal welfare codes and their effect on the management of intensive and extensive systems.


In this activity, students will complete the table by providing an example of how the guideline can be put into practice.

As students work through this activity, they should refer to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle, familiarising themselves with each standard. This activity only includes some guidelines and is not complete for each standard.

Select the links below to download the documents for this resource.

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