Environmental sustainability

Australian feedlots care about the environment in which they raise their livestock.

The reality is their livelihoods depend on a thriving environment and healthy ecosystems.

Feedlots are an efficient way to produce more beef with less land, water, manure, feed and greenhouse gas emissions (compared with grassfed beef).



Let’s get real

Like all industries, the red meat industry knows its practices have an environmental impact.

So, what’s the industry doing about it?

The Australian red meat and livestock industry is proactive about minimising this impact and continually improving.

Here are two examples of recent research the industry has completed to reduce its impact on the environment:

The Beef cattle feedlots: waste management and utilisation manual: provides feedlots with best practice guidelines for the management of the main wastes of the feedlot – manure and effluent. 


Antimicrobial resistance: considered a high-priority issue by governments across the globe, antimicrobial resistance may compromise the effectiveness of treatments to address disease and infection in humans. It is necessary to maintain strict guidelines and controls around the use of antimicrobials in food production animals in Australia and through research, the industry monitors the effects of antimicrobial use to ensure Australia’s reputation as a supplier of safe and healthy food is to be maintained.

The red meat and livestock industry has achieved a lot over the years, but there’s more to do. 

How feedlots know what to do

The actions feedlots take are informed by:

The findings from proactive research and development funded by the red meat industry to minimise its environmental impact.

The environmental practices required by the industry-developed National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme, an industry-developed quality assurance system that’s over and above legislative requirements.

Environmental legislation which imposes management and licensing requirements (e.g. annual soil and water testing and reporting) along with offence provisions to prevent water, air and noise pollution.

Waste legislation that stipulates a framework for managing waste from waste avoidance, to re-use, recycling, and energy recovery through to waste disposal.

Planning legislation that stipulates the conditions to minimise the feedlot’s impact upon the environment and surrounding community.