The Australian Processing Industry is committed to the highest level of animal welfare
• The Australian Meat Processing Industry believes that animal welfare and the humane treatment of livestock is paramount and its mission is to ensure acceptable animal welfare standards are implemented and effectively verified.
• It does this through:
1. Working with Governments and customers to design and implement world best practice animal welfare standards that meet Australian regulations.
2. Developing training and ensuring employees are competent.
3. Investing in animal welfare RD&E activities, as well as the management and continual improvement of animal welfare at processing establishments.
The Australian Processing Industry operates under strict state and federal animal welfare regulations
• In Australia, meat processing practices and livestock handling fall under State and Federal law.
• Australian processors are required as part of their licenses to meet specific regulations, described in various Codes of Practice, standards and notices that enforce the appropriate management and handling of livestock and prevent practices which are considered cruel and/or that causes or results in unnecessary harm, neglect or suffering of animals.
The Australian Processing Industry has developed and implemented best practice animal welfare standards
• The Australian meat processing sector, in 2005, developed and implemented the AMIC ‘Industry Animal Welfare Standards for Livestock Processing Establishments’.
• These best practice Standards integrate the national Codes of Practice, relevant State and Commonwealth legislation and other commercial requirements, as well incorporating literature from Australia and overseas and customers.
• The Standards are verified by Commonwealth and State inspectors and commercial auditors on behalf of customers.
• At the Commonwealth level, the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) legally sanctions and recognises the Standard within its regulatory framework and maintains a presence at export establishments to assess measure and review animal welfare practices on a daily basis. AQIS also conduct an annual audit against the AMIC standards, in support of being able to benchmark continual industry improvement.
The Australian Processing Industry invests in ensuring its employees are trained and competent in animal welfare
• Meat processing operations are required to ensure personnel are trained and competent when handling livestock.
• To achieve this, under the Australian Education framework, AMIC works with the National Meat Industry Training Advisory Council (MINTRAC) whose role is to develop competency based training programs for processor employees.
• In the last three years over 300 personnel have undertaken the “Animal Welfare Officer Skill Set” course. In addition every year approximately 150 new stock handlers undertake the ‘Livestock Handling’ course.