Animal welfare rules will be given more teeth under changes the Government is proposing to the Animal Welfare Act.
It has released a discussion paper outlining its plan to have a national animal welfare strategy for the first time.
It says it will change the act to clarify the way it operates and make it easier to enforce.
A key part of that will be replacing the large number of codes that set minimum standards for animal welfare, with a combination of regulations and guidelines.
Primary Industries Minister David Carter says the problem under current legislation is that those codes are not enforceable.
He says industry has asked for some minimum standards.
"These codes of welfare then become basic minimum standards that every farmer will have to adhere to."
The discussion paper is open for submissions until the end of September.