Livestock management standards a systematic risk assessment

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines which are based on the Model Codes of Practice for the welfare of livestock will be adopted into Victorian legislation (regulations) as prescribed livestock management standards under the Livestock Management Act 2010 (LMA).

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

The LMA 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.

Key definitions relating to Livestock Management Standards

A livestock operator is a person operating a business that engages in a regulated livestock management activity, or a person in charge of livestock.

A livestock management activity is any activity that relates to the care, husbandry and management of livestock during any stage of the livestock's life, from birth to slaughter, including transport and holding of livestock.

Prescribed livestock management standards are livestock management Standards prescribed by regulations (under the Livestock Management Act 2010).

What is a systematic risk assessment?

A systematic risk assessment of a regulated livestock management activity includes an assessment of the likely risks to animal welfare (and biosecurity) arising from the livestock management activity.

It must include details of control measures to ensure that the prescribed livestock management standard is and will be complied with and how any risks to animal welfare (or biosecurity) that were identified, are minimised.

Who is required to do a systematic risk assessment?

Any livestock operator who carries out a regulated livestock management activity must carry out a systematic risk assessment of that activity.

Therefore any person owning, managing or in charge of livestock such as livestock producers, transport operators, saleyard operators and abattoirs, conducting any livestock management activity during any stage from birth to slaughter must carry out a risk assessment of that (prescribed) livestock management activity.

Are there exemptions from the requirement to conduct the risk assessment?

Livestock operators who are participating in a compliance arrangement (Quality Assurance (QA) program) approved by the Department of Primary Industries under the terms of the LMA are exempt from the requirement to conduct a systematic risk assessment of the Standards relevant to their particular livestock management activity.

As members of an approved compliance arrangement (or QA program), 'accredited' livestock operators are exempt as such a risk assessment will have been performed under the rules of their approved compliance arrangement.

Industry based QA programs

Examples of existing industry QA programs likely to attain department approval as approved compliance arrangements include:

  • TruckSafe for livestock transporters - refer to the Australian Livestock Transporters Association (ALTA)
  • NSQA — National Saleyards Quality Assurance program
  • APIQ — Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance program for pig producers

The Livestock Production Assurance does not currently meet the requirements of an approved compliance arrangement for livestock management standards.

Steps to conduct a basic risk assessment

  1. The initial step is to decide whether a newly regulated (prescribed) livestock management Standard is relevant to your livestock management activities. Refer the respective Standards on our website to see if they are relevant to your livestock operation or activity. The current list of prescribed livestock management standards and where to access copies are listed below.
  2. If the Standards are relevant to the livestock activity, livestock operators will be required to have a copy of the relevant Standards that apply to their operation and have read the standards to assess their operation to ensure they meet the specified requirements.
  3. The third step is to carry out an assessment of the individual standards. This step includes assessing whether each individual standard is relevant to your activity and list any risks to animal welfare against that standard. Then list control measures to minimise the animal welfare risks and any other measures that will ensure compliance with the standards.

Records are required to be kept of this risk assessment. The risk assessment can be documented in a table using our sample templates:

Sample templates

Example risk assessments

Prescribed Livestock Management Standards

The following Standards have been prescribed into regulations under the Livestock Management Act 2010

  • The Victorian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Pigs 2011, commonly referred to as the Pig Welfare Standards

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines — Land Transport of Livestock, commonly referred to as the Land Transport Standards were prescribed into regulations during 2012.

Further information

You can find further information on animal welfare standards and guidelines below:

Page last updated: 13 Jul 2020