Animal health & welfare

Australian livestock farmers care about their animals.

The reality is their livelihoods depend on producing healthy and content livestock.

Ensuring good animal health and welfare means farmers do everything from:

…keeping livestock calm with low stress handling
…to providing pain mitigation during surgical procedures
…to ensuring all livestock are getting the right nutrition, especially when pregnant.


Let’s get real

From time to time, we’ve all heard a story or seen some footage where livestock aren’t treated as well as the majority of animals in the industry.

Animal cruelty cases are just as distressing to the industry as they are to the community and they outrage farmers. 

So, what’s the industry doing about it?

The Australian red meat industry has been proactive in creating new programs and systems to ensure and to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to best practice animal health and welfare. 

In a number of cases, our industry has led the world.

Here’re three examples of recent research the industry has funded to improve the welfare of livestock:

The poll gene: This allows farmers to genetically breed cattle without horns, doing away with the need to dehorn animals. Horn-free cattle cause less injury to each other and livestock handlers. Latest research indicates that the majority of cows and bulls in Australia contain the poll gene.

NumNuts: a device which provides rapid pain relief to sheep during castration and tail docking.

Buccalgesic: a long-acting pain relieving gel given to cattle and sheep during castration and tail docking.

How do farmers know what to do?

The actions farmers take to care for their animals are informed by:

Putting into practice findings from proactive research and development funded by the red meat industry to enhance animal health and welfare.

Following animal welfare practices required by the Livestock Production Assurance system, an industry-developed quality assurance system that’s over and above legislative requirements.

Following legislated animal welfare regulations which are informed by the standards within the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.