AUSTRALIAN livestock exporters are strengthening regulatory compliance systems and welfare accountability as the industry pushes ahead with establishing the Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP).
“LGAP is a world first, global conformity assessment program for livestock exports,” Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council Simon Westaway said.
“LGAP will further strengthen welfare safeguards and accountability, while promoting continual improvement across our supply chains and advancing the trade’s long-term sustainability.”
Exporters unanimously endorsed the establishment of LGAP at ALEC’s recent half yearly general meeting in Brisbane, further demonstrating the industry’s commitment to ongoing reform.
LGAP will act to further safeguard the welfare of Australian livestock in import markets in accordance with Export Supply Chain Assurance System requirements.
The program has been modelled on a robust list of quality assurance and compliance models and is designed and constructed in accordance with ISO standards.
Once established, LGAP will cover all Australian licensed exporters exporting feeder and slaughter livestock from Australia and will deliver a range of benefits including:
1) Increased levels of auditing and monitoring by observers who are independent of the industry
2) Extension of responsibility for traceability and control of livestock through the supply chain
3) Consolidation of traceability and control requirements into a single streamlined standard
4) Greater ‘visibility’ of the movement of livestock through the supply chain
5) Improved capacity to undertake e-audits; and
6) Improved capacity to demonstrate that continuing ESCAS requirements are being enforced
The development of LGAP has involved extensive consultation with government, trade partners, livestock producers and welfare advocates.
“The next step is for industry to continue its work with the Federal Government and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources towards LGAP’s full establishment, at which point it would be operated as an independent company, regulated by the Federal Government,” Mr Westaway said.
“The industry has committed to delivering improved animal welfare outcomes in livestock export supply chains. LGAP’s development provides another example of industry-led action that is delivering on that commitment and the significant cultural change occurring in our industry.”