Australian Industry Standards and Guidelines for Goats
Animal Health Australia (AHA) together with the Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA) developed the Australian Industry Standards and Guidelines for Goats in 2015. The industry standards and guidelines are voluntary and undergo a review by GICA and AHA annually.
The finalisation of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Goats is currently not on the Animal Welfare Task Group’s (AWTG) work plan. The goat industry, however, agreed to take the initiative and develop industry Goat Welfare Standards and Guidelines that in the future could become endorsed into legislation.
The proposed standards are intended to eventually replace the 1991 Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Goats (link provided below) and are intended to be used as the basis for developing consistent goat welfare management approaches across Australia.
The development process began in 2015 and was supported and funded by the Goat Industry Council of Australia. Unlike other standards and guidelines these industry standards and guidelines are voluntary, which means the standards and guidelines did not go out for public consultation and the standards are not regulated by Government. Pending goat industry and ministerial support and funding, the public consultation stage, a Regulation Impact Statement and revision stages could occur at a later date.
The Australian Industry Standards and Guidelines for Goats apply to all goat farming enterprises in Australia from extensive grazing to fully housed systems to individually owned. They apply to all those with responsibilities for the care and management of goats, including the fibre, milk and meat industries.
The standards are written as if they were to be the legal requirements for goat welfare and use the word ‘must’. The standards could provide the basis for developing and implementing consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia, including for industry Quality Assurance schemes. The guidelines are the recommended practices to achieve desirable livestock welfare outcomes. Guidelines use the word ‘should’ and are designed to complement the standards.
The Australian Industry Standards and Guidelines for Goats are an industry document only, the standards and guidelines are voluntary and at this stage will not develop a Regulation Impact Statement to be sent out for public consultation or be regulated by Government.