National Farmers' Federation

Animal Welfare Policy

Australian farmers value the trust that the community places in them and know that community acceptance of the way they care for animals is essential to the agriculture industry’s success.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is committed to ongoing and transparent dialogue with the community about the management of animal welfare. Engagement with the community based on trust and transparency is a core tenet of the NFF’s plan for a $100 billion agriculture sector by 2030.

Animal welfare is defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health as ‘the physical and mental state of an animal in relation to the conditions in which it lives and dies’.

Australian farmers strive to be recognised as global leaders in livestock management by using science-based best practice methods of husbandry based on agreed national minimum welfare standards.

Animal welfare is also a legal requirement with state and territory governments responsible for regulating and enforcing minimum welfare standards. All animals deserve to be treated with care and respect, and Australian farmers, who care for their animals, are best placed to drive continuous improvement in welfare outcomes within our industry.

To view the NFF’s animal welfare policy and priorities for industry and government action: click here.

For a full list of recent submissions relating to animal welfare: click here.

To read more about the NFF’s Animal Welfare Policy, click the image below:

Animal Health & Welfare

Policy Position

The NFF has zero tolerance for animal cruelty. To improve animal husbandry and to develop best practice for production animals, the government needs to work in partnership with industry.


Good animal welfare is consistent with good farming because high quality agricultural products require healthy animals and excellence in animal care. Farmers are strong advocates of good animal health and welfare outcomes.

Australia has strict state legislation governing animal production and welfare. These laws differ from state to state, making animal welfare complicated.

In general, animal cruelty is defined as direct acts of cruelty and as neglect of animals by a person responsible for the animal’s wellbeing. Challenges in enforcing animal welfare are at present the monitoring of animal husbandry, the accreditation of quality assurance and the funding of independent auditing programs.

Current animal welfare codes neglect the practical realities of production, necessitating a coherent industry wide framework and strategy for production animal welfare issues.

Our Vision

To champion best practice in animal husbandry, the NFF would suggest the following measures:

  • Provide greater resources to animal welfare regulators to permit more effective surveillance and to support accredited quality assurance through independent auditing programs.
  • Solidify Australia’s international leading role in animal welfare by harmonising animal welfare standards and guidelines across all states and territories.

For a full list of recent submissions relating to biosecurity, health and welfare: click here