The animal welfare codes of practice contain nationally agreed outcomes for the welfare of livestock and other animals. The basic needs of animals for appropriate food, water, air, shelter, comfort and freedom to move and express normal behaviour patterns are considered.
These codes provide guidelines to meet duty of care under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 in Queensland. This duty of care is a legal obligation on those in charge of animals to provide for their needs in an appropriate way. Anyone who owns, manages or handles livestock and other animals has a legal duty of care to be responsible for ensuring acceptable standards of welfare.
In Queensland, sections of the poultry code, pig code and transport of livestock codes have been written into legislation in the Animal Care and Protection Regulation 2012. This means they are compulsory under the legislation.
Other compulsory codes in Queensland are the Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes and Queensland code of practice for the welfare of animals in circuses.
Generally speaking, these codes are either about:
- keeping a certain type of livestock or animal (e.g. cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, camels); or
- particular situations involving animals (e.g. transportation, saleyards, abattoirs, scientific research, circuses and film production).