Australian animal welfare standards and guidelines for sheep

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

Image: Understanding sheep behaviour helps to control their movement
Image: Regular checking to maintain the health of sheep

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep is an initiative, jointly developed by governments, industry and the community, that 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 sheep. 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 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 sheep must know and understand the standards and guidelines and is responsible for the welfare of the sheep they manage or work with.

Completing this activity will assist students with 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, 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 Sheep, 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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