Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock 3.3
Loading and onboard management requirements

5.1.1 - The exporter must ensure that before and after loading of livestock:

  1. pen space allocation and pen group weight range tolerances for livestock are in accordance with the relevant species specifications in Standards 5.2 to 5.5 and where applicable, a HSRA; and
  2. segregation of livestock is in accordance with the penning arrangements equal to Standard 3.1.16 and any other relevant characteristic and market and port of disembarkation; and
  3. different species are separated by a passageway, an empty pen or an effective impermeable barrier, to the satisfaction of an accredited stockperson or AAV; and
  4. livestock are not located or moved over any hatchway, unless the hatchway is protected against consequential damage and the hatchway covers are secured against movement; and
  5. livestock are not located on the vessel where their health or welfare may be adversely affected (there must be no penning or locating of livestock on or in any part of a vessel where the livestock, livestock fittings, livestock equipment or carrying arrangements could compromise livestock health or welfare).

5.1.2 - Before loading of livestock for transport to the port of embarkation, a loading plan for the vessel on which the livestock are to be transported must be prepared in writing by the exporter. The loading plan must be compliant with relevant vessel safety standards and include details of:

  1. the net available pen area on the vessel (excluding the area of the hospital pens) according to the vessel's record of equipment for the carriage of livestock; and
  2. pen layout, available pen area for the particular consignment, hospital pens, ventilation, vessel characteristics and stability requirements, port rotation, and discharge sequence; and
  3. the total number of livestock that are to be loaded on the vessel and number of livestock to be placed in each pen, based on the minimum pen area per head required for the relevant livestock species, weight, class, sex, reproductive status and physical characteristics as specified in Standard 5. Basis for calculations must be included.


5.1.3 - Upon arrival of the livestock at the port of embarkation:

  1. responsibility for the livestock must be transferred to a competent person nominated by the exporter; and
  2. that person must be notified of any aspect of transport to the port of embarkation that might affect the ongoing health or welfare of the livestock.

5.1.4 - Livestock for export must be loaded onto the vessel by competent stock handlers in a manner that prevents injury and minimises stress on the livestock.

5.1.5 - As the livestock for export are loaded on board the vessel, the exporter must notify the master of the vessel of any aspect of the preparation or transport of the livestock for export that might affect their ongoing health or welfare.

5.1.6 - To ensure that only fit and healthy livestock are loaded onto the vessel:

  1. the exporter must arrange for an accredited stockperson, an AAV and/or a competent stock handler to inspect the livestock for health and welfare and fitness to travel, immediately before they are loaded onto the vessel; and
  2. only livestock that are healthy and fit to travel including not showing signs consistent with the rejection criteria specified in Standard 1 Table 1, can be loaded; and
  3. any livestock rejected for export must be distinctively identified, segregated from the consignment and treated if necessary. Humane and effective arrangements must be made for their removal from the port; and
  4. if euthanasia is necessary, it must be carried out promptly and in a humane manner that causes prompt loss of consciousness and then rapid death by a method approved under the national animal welfare standards and guidelines or model codes of practice; and
  5. dead livestock must be removed from the port, and carcasses must be disposed of in compliance with all relevant and applicable legislation.

5.1.7 - Livestock for export must be presented for loading, and penned on the vessel, in lines segregated according to the loading plan.

5.1.8 - Humane and effective arrangements must be made for the handling and care of any livestock surplus to requirements that are not loaded onto the vessel. In the case of surplus livestock, a record that includes the identification of the animal(s), reason for surplus and relevant handling and care must be kept and retained by the exporter for at least 2 years after the date of export.

5.1.9 - Once loading has been completed and before departure, the exporter must ensure:

  1. the consignment has been checked and confirm that the livestock have been loaded according to the loading plan and any applicable written instructions and standard operating procedures; and
  2. the loaded feed has been checked and confirm that feed requirements in this standard have been met, using accurate liveweights.

Food and water, bedding and ventilation requirements

5.1.10 - Feed and water provisions must be appropriate for the species, class, weight and age of livestock, voyage length and expected weather conditions.

5.1.11 - All livestock must be provided with adequate trough space during the voyage to ensure each animal can meet its daily requirements for feed and water without risk to their health or welfare.

5.1.12 - Livestock must have access to suitable feed and ad libitum water:

  1. as soon as possible and no more than 12 hours after being loaded on the vessel; and
  2. for water, within maximum water deprivation times equal to those set out in the Land Transport Standards; and
  3. of a quality to maintain good health, hydration and welfare and satisfy energy requirements for the duration of the voyage, including loading and unloading, and in the event of delay.

5.1.13 - There must be no water curfew applied prior to unloading of livestock at ports in the Middle East between 1 May and 31 October (inclusive).

5.1.14 - The ration fed on the vessel must comply with these conditions:

  1. the ration must not contain more than 30% by weight of wheat, barley or corn, unless the livestock have been adapted to the ration over a period of at least 2 weeks prior to export; and
  2. all pelleted feed must be accompanied by a manufacturer's declaration that states it is manufactured in accordance with the Australian Code of Good Manufacturing Practice for the Feed Milling Industry (2009); and
  3. all Australian-origin feed from a previous voyage that is suitable for livestock consumption may remain in a feed storage tank provided that:
    1. each tank is completely emptied, and feed discarded at least once in every 90 days; and
    2. all feed that is no longer suitable for livestock consumption is emptied in its entirety before further feed is loaded; and
    3. records are maintained of the emptying of feed storage tanks and are available for inspection.
  4. fodder must not be loaded post-departure from Australia except in exceptional circumstances and written approval must be given by the department before this is to occur. Importing country requirements must be met.

5.1.15 - To manage daily feed requirements when a voyage experiences a delay, a minimum of:

  1. 20% or 2 days of reserve feed, whichever is greater, must be loaded on the vessel for consignments of less than 15 days, or
  2. 3 days of reserve feed must be loaded on the vessel for consignments of 15 days or greater.
The reserve feed requirement is in addition to the calculated daily feed provisions for the recommended voyage length. Reserve feed must only be used if a delay is experienced during the voyage.

5.1.16 - The minimum additional reserve of water that must be carried on the vessel to be used in the event of delay is 3 voyage days of daily water maintenance requirements for all livestock on board. Allowance may be made for fresh water produced on the vessel while at sea.

5.1.17 - For extended long-haul voyages and/or any voyages that will travel via the Suez Canal, the Cape of Good Hope, the Panama Canal or Cape Horn:

  1. any consignments that are expected to be on the voyage for 31 voyage days or more must not be exported unless otherwise provided in extended long-haul management plan approved in writing by the department; and
  2. a minimum of 7 voyage days of reserve feed and water (not cumulative with the reserve requirements in Standards 5.1.15 and 5.1.16) must be carried, to be used in the event of delay. Allowance may be made for fresh water produced on the vessel while at sea.

5.1.18 - Bedding provisions must be loaded for all voyages and:

  1. applied in a sufficient quantity that allows pens to be maintained in a manner that ensures the health and welfare of the livestock and minimises slipping, injuries, abrasions, lameness, pugging and faecal coating; and
  2. applied to slippage risk areas of laneways and ramps prior to and during loading and unloading using a material that minimises slipping during loading and unloading; and
  3. be monitored routinely (at least daily) to ensure consistency and depth is appropriate to mitigate risks to the health or welfare of the livestock.

5.1.19 - When livestock for export are loaded on vessels with enclosed decks, the ventilation system must be run continuously from the commencement of loading until the last animal has been unloaded.

5.1.20 - Ammonia levels in a representative number of pens must be measured daily. If ammonia levels exceed or are likely to exceed 25ppm in any livestock spaces, appropriate reduction measures must be implemented. Compliance with this standard will be delayed until further notice by the department.