OBE Organic & Australian animal welfare standards.

Animal welfare encompasses all aspects of animal health and well-being. Australia’s animal welfare strategies involve:

  • Government and non-government organisations
  • Veterinary and community groups
  • Animal industries
  • Animal welfare groups, and
  • Individual animal owners and handlers

Australia’s state and territory governments have primary responsibility for animal welfare and laws to prevent cruelty. The Australian (Federal) Government is responsible for trade and international agreements relating to animal welfare.


Click here to read further information on Animal Welfare in Australia.


During their lifetime, livestock may be exposed to situations which vary from extensive grazing to close confinement, housing and transport. Whatever the form of husbandry practice every-one managing or handling livestock has a legal and ethical responsibility to ensure the welfare of the animals under their control.

  • People managing & handling livestock must be competent
  • Welfare depends on considerate and humane treatment of animals
  • Ignorance is no excuse for inappropriate treatment of animals
  • Good stock persons are flexible in their approach to livestock management


Producers who supply organic livestock to OBE Organic manage their farming operations in adherence to the Primary Industries Standing Committee – Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals Report No. 85. This code is intended as a guide for all people responsible for the care and management of cattle.


The code aims to set an industry standard by defining acceptable livestock management practices. Owners and managers have a responsibility for the health, welfare and considerate treatment of the animals under their control so that stress to the animals is minimized.


The basic needs of livestock for adequate food, water, air, shelter, comfort and freedom to move and express normal behavior patterns are considered in this document, irrespective of the type of husbandry practiced. Contents of this document include:

  • Basic welfare needs
  • Intensive systems
  • Livestock handling facilities, mustering and yarding
  • Management practices
  • Health
  • Agistment
  • Feral animals
  • Humane destruction of livestock
  • Appendix 1 Water for Livestock
  • Appendix 2 Feed requirement guidelines


The slaughter of OBE Organic livestock is undertaken in certified organic abattoirs. The abattoirs comply to the “AQIS Operational Guidelines for the welfare of animals at abattoirs and slaughterhouses“. The content of these guidelines has been reviewed by both the Export Meat Industry Advisory Committee (EMIAC) and the Domestic Meat Industry Advisory Committee (DMIAC). It represents the Australian abattoir and slaughterhouse industry’s view on the minimum standards for handling, husbandry, facilities and equipment necessary to safeguard the welfare of slaughter animals.


Content of this document includes:

  1. Design and Construction of Facilities for Handling or Holding Livestock
    1. Design and Construction
  2. Receival and Handling of Livestock Prior to Slaughter
    1. Receival of livestock
    2. Personnel Handling Livestock
    3. Moving and Drafting of Livestock
    4. Implements for Assisting in the Movement of Livestock
    5. Handling of Injured, Disabled or Diseased Stock
    6. Handling Escaped Animals
  3. Holding of Livestock Prior to Slaughter
    1. Separation of Categories of Livestock
    2. Availability of Food and Water
    3. Surveillance of Live Animals During the Holding Period
    4. Duration of Holding Periods
    5. Holding Stock during Industrial Disputes


This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional)