Animal welfare considerations are critical when managing stock during dry times, when feed and water resources are under pressure.
With much of the state in drought or approaching drought, stock owners across NSW need to make decisions to effectively manage their stock.
Your livestock and other farm animals are your responsibility and it is up to you to plan and prepare for their welfare. By being proactive and making decisions early, you will help ensure good animal welfare outcomes and compliance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTA).
Understand your circumstances and the options available to you. Seek help and consider expert advice on seasonal conditions, feed, fodder and stock market prices.
Early intervention ensures good animal welfare outcomes.
You have a legal responsibility to get it right. It is an offence not to ensure the welfare of your animals. The welfare of animals in NSW, including farm animals and pets, is protected under POCTA and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulation. POCTA allows stock to be seized and disposed (by way of sale or otherwise) in the event that an animal is in distress, or is likely to become distressed, because it has not been provided with necessary veterinary treatment, or proper and sufficient food, drink or shelter and where the owner does not comply with directions to improve the welfare of the stock. Penalties may also apply.
Your livestock and other farm animals are your responsibility and it is up to you to plan and prepare for their welfare.
Help is available to ensure you get the right advice.
For more information on the vast range of services and support available to primary producers, their families and communities, please visit DroughtHub.
Managing the animal welfare risk factors is a shared responsibility between all people involved in the transportation process, including stock owners, transport operators, saleyard personnel, livestock agents and stockpersons.
The enforcement agencies of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTA Act) can investigate cruelty to an animal. The enforcement agencies are:
For more information on when and how inspections and enforcement activities are carried out click here.
The NSW DPI web page has information on animal welfare including links to relevant legislation and mandatory standards.
Local Land Services (LLS) can provide advice on drought management including animal health, nutrition and pasture management.
Call 1300 795 299 or visit your nearest LLS office.
Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) is a state-wide program that links rural people to the help they need. Visit the website or call the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.
Primary producers are encouraged to visit DroughtHub for the latest State Seasonal Updates and information on a range of support services to prepare for and manage drought conditions.
The NSW DPI publication Welfare scoring nutritionally deprived beef cattle, dairy cattle and their crosses, sheep and horses is a useful guide to assessing animal condition. This guide is also referenced in the Regulation.
Managing drought is a handbook that has been prepared to assist primary producers in making financial and management decisions which will see them through extended dry periods.
Drought Feed Calculator App. Designed for use in the paddock to develop well-informed and cost efficient feed strategies for sheep and cattle. Search “Drought Feed Calculator”