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Livestock welfare

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Maintaining high standards for animal health and welfare on the farm is essential for efficient production, establishing consumer confidence and managing risk of disease to both humans and animals.

Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act provides the duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare. A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as reasonable to ensure that the needs of animals for which he is responsible are met. An animal’s needs shall be taken to include:  

  • need for a suitable environment  
  • need for a suitable diet
  • need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns  
  • need to be housed with , or apart form, other animals
  • need to be protected from pain, suffering injury and disease freedom from fear and distress.

While these freedoms provide general guidelines to avoid suffering and other harms, there are areas where specific guidance is available:

  • on-farm welfare 
  • welfare at transport 
  • welfare at slaughter 
  • welfare at market.