Beef and sheep feedlots


Ratification Date: 20 Jan 2012


Beef cattle and sheep/lamb feedlots must be operated in compliance with the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle and the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep.


Cattle and sheep feedlot industries make an important contribution in producing quality finished meat, and can complement the beef/sheep grazing systems as an environmentally sound, sustainable source of animal protein production.

Husbandry conditions in an intensive feedlot situation differ greatly from extensive grazing management systems. Appropriate knowledge and management skills are required to maintain animal welfare and productivity.


For beef cattle feedlots, the standards set out in the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme of the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) should be followed. The National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS) Standards comprise five modules.

The five modules and the areas pertinent to animal health and welfare within these modules include:

  1. Quality management system – training, internal auditing and corrective action, quality records, document control, and chemical inventory.
  2. Food safety management – property risk assessment, safe and responsible animal treatment, treatments of stock foods, preparation for dispatch of livestock, livestock transactions and movements.
  3. Livestock management – livestock identification, husbandry and transport, animal welfare, biosecurity, and contingency planning.
  4. Environmental management.
  5. Product integrity – feedlot rations.

Codes of practice incorporated into the NFAS standards include the National Guidelines for Beef Cattle Feedlots, The Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Cattle, Second Edition, and the National Beef Cattle Feedlot Environmental Code of Practice.


Australian Lot Feeders’ Association. National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme. Available at: http://www.feedlots.com.au. Accessed 21 April 2011.

Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle. Available at: http://www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/cattle/

Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Sheep. Available at: : http://www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/sheep/

Primary Industries Standing Committee.National Guidelines for Beef Cattle Feedlot. Second Edition. Available at: http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/114.htm Accessed 21 April 2011.

Date of ratification by the AVA Board: 20 January 2012