About the Livestock Management Act

The Livestock Management Act 2010 provides a framework to achieve nationally consistent animal welfare, biosecurity and traceability standards. It provides assurance to customers and the community regarding livestock management practices and assists in maintaining productivity and market access for livestock businesses.

The Act affects anyone owning, managing or working with livestock in any capacity.


The objectives of the Livestock Management Act are to:

  • Legislate standards relating to the management of livestock.
  • Recognise existing compliance arrangements demonstrating high livestock management standards and provide a mechanism for establishing co-regulatory arrangements.
  • Encourage implementation of approved quality assurance programs and/or equivalent compliance arrangements.
  • Improve community understanding of livestock management standards.


The Act provides two compliance regimes:

  • Applies to those not operating under an approved quality assurance program, where inspection and offences will directly apply.
  • Establishes the co-regulatory arrangement where a monitoring and joint reporting regime will apply.


The Bill was introduced in December 2009. The Act took effect as particular standards are developed and agreed to nationally. The integration of the first set of standards, Australian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Animals – Land Transport, commenced in early 2010. The national standards were introduced over the subsequent five year period.


The Livestock Management Act is driven by recommendations from several national regulatory reviews to:

  • meet changing market, customer and community expectations
  • develop nationally consistent standards that everyone must meet
  • harmonise delivery and enforcement
  • minimise regulatory burden on industry
  • recognise industry quality assurance programs as mechanisms for demonstrating standards are met.

The need for national consistency was endorsed by the Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC).


Consultation with other Government agencies and industries formally commenced in August 2009. Ongoing consultation with stakeholders as part of the development process for each Standard will ensure appropriate assessment of the impacts is conducted with respect to each industry sector.

Page last updated: 05 Aug 2021