Animal welfare is primarily a responsibility of the states and territories. The Commonwealth’s role is limited to livestock exports and export registered meat processing facilities post offload.
However, the Federal government takes a leadership role in the development of national animal welfare standards and guidelines that provide clarity and consistency for industry, consumers and trading partners.
The previous Australian Animal Welfare Strategy - which lapsed in 2014 - provided an overarching national framework to identify priorities, coordinate stakeholder action and improve consistency across all animal use sectors, with a range of consultative forums.
Renewing the Strategy
The Australian Government has committed $5 million over 4 years, to the renewal of an Australian Animal Welfare Strategy.
A renewed Australian Animal Welfare Strategy establishes Australia’s commitment to modern, sustainable, evidence and science-based welfare practice.
It will provide a national framework to bring key stakeholders together on animal welfare issues of national significance.
A renewed strategy will provide a vision for the welfare of all animals and promote harmonised national standards and guidelines development, with the intention to mature the national policy and regulatory system for animal welfare.
An inclusive stakeholder engagement approach will ensure a broad range of stakeholders are involved in and support the development of the renewed strategy.
Engagement will include state and territory governments, First Nations peoples, agricultural industries, animal welfare organisations and the Australian public.
Animal welfare is a priority for the community, the agriculture industry and the Australian Government.
Renewing the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy reflects the community’s desire for joint leadership from all Australian governments on animal welfare.
The budget for this commitment was announced as part of the May 2023 budget. More information is available on our Budget Fact Sheet page.