Australia: Chain of Responsibility for the livestock industry

Last Updated: 30 April 2017
Article by Nathan Cecil
Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2019

The livestock industry throws up certain unique considerations for Chain of Responsibility (CoR) compliance not faced by other industries. In this article, we look at some of these unique compliance issues and hot topics for the livestock industry.

Industry structure

One of the prevailing characteristics that sets the livestock industry apart from others is the level of decentralisation or lack of vertical integration. That is, the livestock industry seems to be populated by a larger number of smaller players and 'independents' than a lot of other industries.

Many livestock processors and exporters consolidate animals born and bred elsewhere, often from a substantial number of breeders and growers. This consolidation may happen a number of times before reaching the ultimate processor/exporter, e.g. livestock may be consolidated locally and then again regionally before being delivered for processing or export.

This structural feature means that the number of parties within any livestock supply chain is likely to be greater than those in other industries. Controlling or influencing the compliance conduct of a larger number of third-party participants increases the complexity and administrative burden of compliance.

In such circumstances, formal control measures are necessary. These can be rolled out to multiple parties without significant cost or administrative burden. The best examples include pre-qualification compliance screening of supply chain parties, and the incorporation of a CoR compliance policy and compliance assurance conditions in all supply chain contracts.

Secondly, apart perhaps from agriculture, more than any other industry, the livestock industry supply chain is predominantly regional. Typically, livestock breeding, growing and processing sites are located outside of major cities. The centrality of regional and long-distance travel raises considerations of fatigue management to a degree not faced by some other industries.

Breach identification

Particular attention should therefore be paid to fatigue management in all pre-qualification compliance screening. Information, instruction and training in fatigue management and breach identification should be high on the list for all employees involved in loading and unloading consignments, and scheduling loading, unloading and transport.

Also, the decentralised and regional nature of the livestock industry may mean that many participants in the chain will not have ready access to compliance infrastructure, such as weighbridges. The costs of installing weighbridges at every single transition point in such a decentralised and remote supply chain would be prohibitive.

Consideration should be given to implementing mobile weighing solutions. Alternatively, mass should be verified at the destination or other consolidation points and, if overloading occurs, measures should be put in place to ensure that it does not reoccur.

Thirdly, livestock move around a lot, although not necessarily on their own two or four feet. Many livestock supply chains are branched, with livestock breeders being separate from livestock growers, being separate from livestock processors, being separate from livestock exporters.

This means that by the time livestock arrives on our shelves or for export, they have likely been moved around from specialist facility to specialist facility, earning many frequent flyer points in the process. With each move, compliance has to be actively verified and enforced. Again, it is essential that the formal and documentary compliance tools of a CoR compliance policy and compliance assurance conditions are contained in all contracts. They have the benefit of being written, are easy to understand, and are able to be referred to time and again by those in the chain.

What goes in must come out – a moving target

Waste is a by-product of the production process in the many industries. In the case of the livestock industry, this is literally. Waste produced at a farm, which is removed and sold or disposed of, simply adds another link in the livestock supply chain.

Unlike other products, livestock continues to produce waste while in transit. General road rules provide for fines for escaped waste on the roads, but this is treated more as a general load restraint or even a littering issue, rather than being treated as a shared responsibility in relation to load preparation and restraint under the CoR.

There continues to be a very vocal call from many operators in the livestock industry for regulators to start to treat this issue as one of shared responsibility under CoR and shine the compliance spotlight on livestock consignors in relation to this issue.

Consignors and transport operators should resolve how to deal their sights. Either livestock needs to be prepared differently or infrastructure must be put in place to deal with effluent, e.g. effluent tanks on trucks and effluent disposal points. In either case, the costs consequences will need to be apportioned.

An existing model for compliance?

The compliance wheel does not have to be reinvented. The livestock industry already has in place an established code for shared responsibility in the transport of livestock, the Land Transport of Livestock Code, which operates in many States and Territories. Although aimed at livestock welfare during transport, the code sets out the shared responsibility of all participants in the livestock supply chain for livestock welfare.

The code outlines the parties' responsibilities for planning, handling, loading, transporting and unloading livestock, including the coordination that must take place among parties in the chain.

A CoR compliance policy could easily be modelled off the existing code, with the benefit that its users should already be familiar with the concept of shared responsibility. So, although faced with many peculiar compliance issues, the livestock industry has an in-built compliance framework that can provide a model for CoR compliance.

Sub-contractor pre-qualification screening is an essential CoR compliance measure that should be implemented in the livestock industry. Screening is intended to allow you to assess the CoR awareness and compliance of any potential CoR counterpart (e.g. supplier, customer) and/or sub-contractor. You should therefore focus on compliance and incident prevention measures that are (or should be) in place, and incident response and rectification measures.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions