New live animals legislation

Australia’s new export legislation has commenced.

Please read the below information and related documents on this page. If you have any questions about the new legislation, please contact us:

Email -

On 28 March 2021 Australia's export legislation is changing. The new legislation will commence at 3 am Australian Eastern Daylight Time.

The new legislation will continue to achieve the regulatory outcomes expected by our trading partners. It will also be easier to understand and use.

The new export legislation looks different, but it is not designed to add regulatory burden or change how industry do business in the short term. The new legislation will support Australia’s livestock industries to innovate and pursue opportunities for business efficiency.

The new export legislation consists of the Export Control Act 2020 and the Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021. The Animals Rules set the specific requirements for the export of livestock, other live animals, and reproductive material.

The new export legislation has been designed to minimise impacts on export businesses. Legislative approvals which exist immediately prior to commencement will automatically transition. This includes:

  • Registered premises (registered establishments under the new legislation)
  • Veterinarians accredited by the Australian Government (AAVs)
  • Approved arrangements
  • Export licences
  • Notices of intention to export
  • Health certificates
  • Export permits

Please note that any continuing references to old legislation (e.g., the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry Act 1997 and the Export Control Act 1982) should be read as the equivalent provisions in the Export Control Act 2020 and the Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021. Directions, decisions, and policies made under old legislation are still enforceable under the new legislation.


We are updating policies and guidance material, application forms, web content and information, and systems for the commencement of the new legislation.

Regulated entities must use updated application forms which are available from 28 March 2021.

We will continue to progressively renew web content and publish updated policies on key live animal export processes after commencement of the legislation.

The department has been delivering information session to stakeholders on the new legislation. Answers to frequently asked questions received during the information sessions will be progressively made available on this page.

For more information or for a response to any questions you may have on the new legislation and its commencement, please contact the department via email:

Last reviewed: 18 May 2021
Thanks for your feedback.
Thanks! Your feedback has been submitted.

We aren't able to respond to your individual comments or questions.
To contact us directly phone us or submit an online inquiry

Please verify that you are not a robot.