Moving and exporting livestock

Livestock welfare and land transport standards

There are rules about animal welfare you must follow if you own or work with animals. This applies to farmers, livestock transporters, livestock exporters and saleyard staff.

You must provide for the needs of animals under your care and you face penalties for neglect, cruelty, abandonment and failure to provide food, water and shelter.

The same rules apply for transporters and sellers.

It's important for pastoralists in the Northern Territory (NT) to make sure animals are provided with food and water at all times, particularly during prolonged dry spells.

Read more about livestock welfare and land transport standards.

The land transport standards

The NT has national standards to ensure the welfare of livestock being transported by road.

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines - Land Transport of Livestock, LTS for short, applies to anyone responsible for livestock while they are being transported. This includes agents, owners, transporters and receivers.

There are two parts to the LTS:

  • general standards and guidelines that apply to all stock
  • standards for individual species.

Read an overview of the LTS PDF (50.4 KB).

Welfare standards

You must follow the standards for all of the following aspects of livestock transport and handling, including:

  • maximum permitted time without water
  • minimum spell period, with water, food and rest, once livestock reach the maximum permitted time without water
  • extension of journey time where feed and water is provided in-transit
  • restrictions on the use of electric prodders in certain species or classes of animal
  • restrictions on the use of dogs in certain species or classes of animal
  • segregation of certain classes of stock.

Welfare guidelines

The guidelines are recommended practices to ensure animal welfare for all of the following aspects of stock  transport:

  • considerations for long distance travel and fitness
  • food and water
  • loading density
  • vehicles and facilities
  • handling
  • humane destruction methods.

Standards and guidelines for different species

All of the following NT standards and guidelines are based on the national welfare standards for individual species.

Buffalo standards PDF (304.0 KB)
Buffalo standards DOCX (60.2 KB)
Buffalo checklist PDF (228.3 KB)
Buffalo checklist DOCX (147.0 KB)
Cattle standards PDF (287.8 KB)
Cattle standards DOCX (70.4 KB)
Cattle checklist PDF (87.7 KB)
Cattle checklist DOCX (81.2 KB)
Camels standards PDF (289.4 KB)
Camels standards DOCX (67.9 KB)
Camels checklist PDF (212.1 KB)
Camels checklist DOCX (69.1 KB)
Goats standards PDF (287.0 KB)
Goats standards DOCX (67.0 KB)
Goats checklist PDF (209.3 KB)
Goats checklist DOCX (62.9 KB)
Horses standards PDF (289.8 KB)
Horses standards DOCX (58.1 KB)
Horses checklist PDF (72.9 KB)
Horses checklist DOCX (157.1 KB)
Pigs standards PDF (280.0 KB)
Pigs standards DOCX (67.9 KB)
Pigs checklist PDF (228.1 KB)
Pigs checklist DOCX (87.1 KB)
Poultry standards PDF (270.3 KB)
Poultry standards DOCX (64.4 KB)
Poultry checklist PDF (218.0 KB)
Poultry checklist DOCX (144.6 KB)
Sheep standards PDF (294.7 KB)
Sheep standards DOCX (79.1 KB)
Sheep checklist PDF (231.9 KB)
Sheep checklist DOCX (155.5 KB)

Guidance for stock handlers

If you are a stock handler or manager all of the following standards and guidelines you must follow national welfare standards:

For agents

For livestock owners

For truck drivers

For yard managers

Make a livestock welfare complaint

If you want to make a complaint about livestock welfare you can make a complaint to the Animal Welfare branch. Read how to report animal cruelty or neglect.

More information

The following publications and websites provide further information about how to select and care for livestock that are being transported:

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Last updated: 27 March 2020

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