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.

Objectives

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.

Compliance

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.

Timing

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.

Background

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

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.

Livestock Management Amendment (Animal Activism) Act 2022

The Victorian Government recently introduced changes to the Livestock Management Act 2010 to address the serious impacts of trespass on Victorian farms and the significant biosecurity risks that breaches from animal activists can pose.

Farmers will soon be able to voluntarily implement Biosecurity Management plans (BMPs) under a new regulatory framework. The framework will support farmers to implement important biosecurity measures, such as requiring visitors to gain consent to enter or remain on their property and to not interfere with livestock.

There will be offences and infringements for people (e.g. trespassers) who don’t follow the biosecurity measures outlined in a BMP.

The Livestock Management Regulations 2021 will be updated so that this framework can be implemented. Agriculture Victoria is currently progressing these changes, which are expected to come into effect in August 2022.

More information will be provided to allow livestock producers to voluntarily adopt these changes on their premises, once the regulations are in place.

Page last updated: 01 Jul 2022