Livestock land transport laws enforced from 1 August 2014

News release | 30-Jul-2014

The six month grace period for new livestock transport requirements introduced in January expires this Friday.

Queensland's Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said the new laws outline the basic principles that everyone transporting livestock must use to protect the welfare of the livestock being transported.

"To achieve a nationally consistent approach to livestock transport, the laws now reflect the national standards and align Queensland with other states and territories," Dr Crook said.

"The new laws commenced on 31January 2014, however to ensure stakeholders are familiar with the new laws, a six month grace period for enforcement was granted. The grace period expires on Friday.

"The laws apply to the transport of both commercial and non-commercial livestock and start once livestock are assembled prior to loading and continue until the animals are unloaded at the final destination. 

"The laws provide standards that animals selected for transport must be fit for the intended journey. It is the responsibility of the people involved to ensure livestock are fit for transport."

The land transport code applies to the following animals being transported by road, rail or by a road vehicle or container aboard a ship:

  • Alpaca
  • Buffalo
  • Camel
  • Cattle
  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • Horses
  • Pigs
  • Poultry
  • Ostriches
  • Emus
  • Deer 

For information on the national livestock transport standards, visit 

Alternatively, producers can contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or visit for additional information.

Examples of legislative changes for transporting livestock:
  • Under the code, only livestock that are fit for the intended journey are to be transported.
  • The code prescribes the maximum times livestock can be held off water during the transport process. These times vary with the species, age and reproductive status of livestock.
  • A person handling livestock during the transport process must do it in a manner that minimises stress.
  • Electric prodders may be used sparingly on some species, but can't be used on any livestock less than three months old or on alpaca, bobby calves, emus, ostrich, pregnant goats, horses, pigs (less than 60 kilograms) and poultry.
  • Dogs must be kept under effective control at all times and a dog that habitually bites livestock, other than cattle greater than 30 days of age, must be muzzled.

Media contact: Kate Cardwell, 3087 8599