Animal Health & Welfare
GICA is committed to the general health and welfare of Australia’s entire goat herd. Producers have a duty of care to their livestock and if the health and welfare of any individual herd is compromised it can reflect poorly on the entire industry.
Any livestock producer must consider the “five freedoms” for animals and take measures to incorporate these into property management plans and procedures. These include:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst.
- Freedom from discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
While attention to goat health and welfare is easier during good seasons, it is equally important in poor seasons or during difficult circumstances such as floods, drought and fire.
Australia is fortunate to be free of all the major epidemic diseases of livestock and is relatively free of other serious parasites and diseases. Australia maintains this high standard of animal health through effective partnerships between all levels of government and the livestock industries.
Meat & Livestock Australia, (MLA ) is responsible for the management of animal health research programs that deliver cost-effective (with money coming from industry levies), practical solutions to several health problems within the goat industry.
Animal Health Australia (AHA) is responsible for facilitating improvements in Australia’s animal health policy and practice. AHA builds capacity to enhance emergency animal disease preparedness, to ensure that Australia’s livestock health systems support productivity, competitive advantages and preferred market access, and to contribute to the protection of human health, the environment and recreational activities.
Goat producers have a duty of care to incorporate the results of research programs and policies into their property animal health plans and on-farm practices.
The welfare of a producer’s goats affects the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the entire Australian goat and broader livestock industries. The welfare of livestock is important during all stages of production, from birth to slaughter.
Good animal welfare practices are an integral part of a property management plan. GICA oversees the investment of industry levies in animal welfare research conducted by MLA, with the ultimate aim of providing tools and knowledge to producers to help them improve the wellbeing of their goats and address issues of community concern.
Australian Industry Standards and Guidelines for Goats
GICA, together with Animal Health Australia have developed the Australian Industry Standards and Guidelines for Goats. The industry standards and guidelines apply to all goat farming enterprises in Australia from extensive grazing to fully housed systems to individually owned. The industry standards and guidelines apply to all those responsible for the care and management of goats.