The Minister for Primary Industries is rejecting criticism from animal welfare advocates that new rules around the treatment of bobby calves are far too weak.
Killing by blunt force trauma will be outlawed and the animals must be at least four days old before being transported for sale or slaughter.
The changes follow the release of a shocking video last year, which showed bobby calves being kicked, beaten and left dead in cages.
But there's concern the measures fall short of what's needed.
"This kind of thing is completely unacceptable," says John Darroch from Farmwatch.
"And I think the public would be quite shocked at the thought of a four-day-old calf going 24 hours without food, or being in the back of a truck for 12 hours."
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says there was a public consultation and the changes were widely supported.
The new laws will be in place by the spring calving season.