Livestock advice

Our government veterinarians are a valuable resource for locally relevant, up to date, independent advice and information on biosecurity and animal health issues. They deliver animal health programs within the ACT including animal disease investigations, maintain an appropriate level of emergency preparedness, provide extension services to our rural landholders, improve traceability for livestock, assist in promoting good farm biosecurity practices directly with landholders and can provide advice on animal welfare issues.

Advice and assistance

You can contact either of our government veterinarians for advice or assistance by calling 13 22 81.

Chief Veterinary Officer: 02 6205 3737

Biosecurity Veterinary Officer: 02 6207 2357

Animal welfare in times of drought

ACT government vets can offer veterinary advice to landholders on animal health issues. This is offered as a free service to ACT rural landholders.

Fit to Load

Is your stock fit to load? The Fit to Load video outlines the best practice for animal welfare when preparing, loading and delivering livestock. The video is also available on the Meat and Livestock Australia website.

Calculating livestock water requirements for your farm

To ensure your stock has adequate water, it’s important to know how much water your livestock needs each month. Understanding your property’s water source is also helpful and will help ensure the correct amount of water is available on your property.

Livestock drinking requirements

Average consumption figures can be estimated per head however this can be affected by the livestock breed, sex and age, feed type and quality as well as weather conditions.

It’s important to note water consumption will increase during summer by about 40% for cattle, sheep and horses and up to 80% on extremely hot days.

Cattle Daily Water Requirements

Cattle type

Daily requirements (L/head)

Lactating cow on grassland


Lactating cow on saltbush


Young stock


Dry stock (400kg)


Sheep Daily Water Requirements

Sheep type

Daily requirements (L/head)

Adult dry sheep on grassland


Adult dry sheep on saltbush


Ewes with lambs




Horse Daily Water Requirements

Horse type

Daily requirements (L/head)

Lactating horses


Young horses