Keeping livestock on land is subject to:

  • Property conditions, size and zoning
  • Property stocking rate
  • Number and type of stock
  • Environmental implications and management
  • Animal welfare considerations

Shire approval is required to keep livestock in a townsite or on a property less than and equal to 0.5hectares and/or zoned rural residential or special rural.

Adequate natural shelter or stabling (compliant with the requirements of the building code) must be provided.

Planning approvals and building permits may also be required for intended property development. 

In most cases, livestock owners are also required to register as an owner with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

What animals classify as livestock?

  • Cows includes an ox, calf or bull
  • Horses includes an ass, mule, donkey or pony
  • Pigs
  • Sheep
  • Camels
  • Goats
  • Llamas
  • Alpacas
  • Deer – Red and Fallow
  • Ostrich
  • Emus
  • Other similar grazing animals

Applying to Keep

Follow the steps below if you intend to keep or increase the number of livestock on your property:

1. Determine if the land is suitable for keeping livestock and its stocking rate

Our Environmental Coordinator is on hand to assist:

9531 7777

Other resources:

Stocking Rate Guidelines for rural small holdings, Swan Coastal Plain and Darling Scarp and Surrounds, Western Australia

Shire of Murray Local Planning Policy - Keeping of Livestock in Rural Residential Areas

2. Prepare/update a Livestock/Equine Management Plan

The plan must detail how the property will be managed to prevent environmental damage, land degradation, water pollution and adverse amenity impacts.

The plan is to consider:

  • Soil types
  • Irrigation square meterage - see table in local planning policy for more information
  • Dryland square meterage
  • Stocking rates
  • Number and type of stock
  • Infrastructure for the keeping of the livestock
  • Stabling practices – if keeping horses
  • Manure, fly and odour control plan
  • Nutrient management, soil ameliorants and fertiliser application
  • Pasture management - in line with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development recommended practice –
  • Protection of trees
  • Dust control
  • Weed control
  • Water availability, use and irrigation
  • Inundation and flood management
  • Fire management
  • Rodent control
  • Horse morality
  • Chemical storage
  • Stock branding
  • Healthy stock

A separate Nutrient and Irrigation Management Plan’ (NIMP) may be required to demonstrate how the land will be managed in terms of nutrient production and how it will meet the requirements of the Western Australian Planning Commission’s State Planning Policy 2.1 - Peel-Harvey Coastal Plain Catchment which is a key planning guidance document for nutrient targets in the Peel-Harvey Estuary catchment.

For all properties not zoned rural, please submit your plan to us for consideration:

Helpful Resources:

Equine Management Plan Example

Site Management Plan Example

Stock Management Checklist

3. Apply for planning approvals and building permits

Planning approval is required in the following instances:

  • To keep livestock on any rural residential lot within the Peel-Harvey Catchment – Swan Coastal Plain boundary insert map
  • To keep livestock on any rural residential lot which exceeds the base stocking rate under the ‘DAFWA Guidelines” (refer Table 2 under Appendix A of the Shire’s Local Planning Policy) outside of the Peel-Harvey Catchment – Swan Coastal Plain boundary
  • For development associated with the keeping of livestock including the construction of stables, training tracks and dressage areas
  • Where otherwise specifically required under the Scheme for a particular zone

Building permits my be required if you intend to have shelters/other structures built on your property.

If you are developing your property, we recommend contacting our Planning Officers prior to undertaking any works.

4. Register your livestock with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

If you are a livestock owner or beekeeper, you must register as an owner of livestock, identify stock correctly and obtain a property identification code (PIC) for each property where you keep livestock. When livestock are moved off a property, you may also need to complete a movement document.

A license is required to keep Emus.

Ostrich owners, you only need to register if you own other types of livestock, or if you wish to identify your ostriches with a registered identifier.

Visit the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development's website for further information:

Owenership registration

Movement and identification

Requirements for Keeping

Keeping of livestock in the Shire of Murray especially rural residential areas, must be in accordance with the carrying capacity of the land and in a way that:

  1. Prevents soil erosion and land degradation
  2. Protects native vegetation and wetlands from damage
  3. Protects ground water and waterways from pollution
  4. Does not result in adverse amenity impacts, particularly relating to dust, odour, noise and fly and rodent control
  5. Demonstrates compliance with SPP 2.1 within the Swan Coastal Plain Catchment of the Peel-Harvey
  6. Ensures the welfare of the animals

Adequate natural shelter or stabling (compliant with the requirements of the building code) must be provided.

Owners must ensure shelters are maintained in a clean and hygienic condition, free of flies, vermin and vectors of decease.

The keeping of animals must also comply with:

Shire of Murray Health Local Law

Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007

Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Stable Fly) Management Plan

Animal Welfare Act

Environmental Protection Act

Developing a Livestock Management Plan is recommended (and in some cases required), to ensure compliance, environmental protection and animal welfare.

If you intend to increase the number of stock kept on your property, please refer to the Apply to Keep section.