Aerial view of farm showing safe and smart cattle yard design

Legal Responsibilities of Cattle Yard Designs

Farmers with cattle yards must adhere to certain requirements and laws set by the government. Most of these legislative rules occur at the state level and so can vary depending on where you are in the country. Typically, creating cattle yard designs or stockyards is a significant investment. Thought must be paid to expense, durability and efficiency. Owning large cattle yards comes with risks that should be assessed beforehand to prevent any injuries and fatalities to your cattle. Here are some important factors to remember when planning your cattle yard designs.

  1. Animal health and welfare requirements

Farmers have a responsibility to protect the health and welfare of cattle they are rearing. Farmers are required to ensure that livestock have access to nutrition and water of sufficient quality. They also need social contact with other cows, as well as having enough space to stand, stretch, lie down and perform any other dynamic or static behaviours. Reasonable precaution must also be taken to protect the heard from weather extremes. More generally, stress must be minimised during procedures like treating pain, disease or injury; and handling and transport. Finally, appropriate humane treatment must be consistently employed including humane slaughter of livestock.


  1. Occupational Health and Safety requirements of workers

Besides the health and welfare of the cattle, it is as important that cattle owners should follow the health and safety requirements when owning and handling cattle yards. Cattle handling can easily put workers in danger of serious injuries such as being bitten, hit, trampled on, heat stress, stress, fatigue and falls. Those working with cattle must be aware of any hazards or risks they face and must be trained to deal with those effectively.


  1. Gate positioning

When designing cattle yards, special consideration must be applied to any gates. They need to keep animals safe and securely contained in pens or laneways when being moved. They need to be designed in such a way so as to minimise any risk and stress to cattle, as well as not inhibit any cleaning operations or vehicles.


  1. Material durability

The materials you’ll be looking at when constructing a new cattle yard will likely include steel, concrete and timber. Selecting high quality materials is essential in building a durable and safe yard. Farmers are obligated to minimise the risk of predation to livestock – strong materials are a key part of this.


When developing a cattle yard design, it’s vital to consider any and all requirements. Be sure to look at the relevant legislation within your state as well, as standards may vary state by state. For any questions regarding the construction of your cattle yard, please contact the team at Steel Supplies Charters Towers.