Livestock management legislation and regulations

There are several pieces of legislation that govern the management of livestock. Each  piece of legislation contains important regulations and guidelines about the management of livestock and their welfare in Victoria.


The Livestock Management Act (2010) was gazetted in January 2010. The act provides the legislative framework for integrating, in a consistent manner, nationally agreed standards relating to aspects of livestock management and for demonstrating these standards are met.

You must also be aware of these other important Acts relevant to managing livestock:

Standards and guidelines

Nationally consistent standards and guidelines for the welfare of livestock are being developed cooperatively by government and livestock industries, under the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS).

In Victoria, these standards are being incorporated as regulations under the Livestock Management Act 2010 making them mandatory and enforceable.

Read about the standards and guidelines for the welfare of livestock.

You can find further information on these and other standards and guidelines:

Land transport standards

Standards and guidelines that ensure the welfare of livestock during land transport. They cover the transport of livestock by road and rail, and by livestock transport vehicle aboard a ship:

Pig welfare standards and guidelines

Systematic risk assessments

The Livestock Management Act requires all livestock operators to comply with prescribed livestock management standards applicable to their particular livestock operation.

The Act also requires livestock operators to conduct a systematic risk assessment of the prescribed livestock management standards within six months of these Standards being adopted into regulations.

Examples of risk assessments

Approved compliance arrangements

The Livestock Management Act minimises regulatory burden by providing a co-regulatory mechanism to recognise existing government and industry compliance arrangements (e.g. quality assurance (QA) programs) that operate to achieve high standards for livestock management and that demonstrate compliance and monitoring of the prescribed standards.

Page last updated: 04 Jun 2020