Good animal welfare practice is a requirement of the Australian Meat and Livestock Industry, both here in Australia and around the world.
AMIC, the industry’s peak body that represents livestock processors and independent retailers, understands this expectation, and in 2013 formed the ‘Australian Livestock Processing Industry Animal Welfare Certification System’ or AAWCS. This was created in collaboration with the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) and AUS-MEAT Limited.
AAWCS is an independently audited certification used by Australian livestock processors to demonstrate compliance with the industry best practice animal welfare standards.
Livestock processors that are certified under the AAWCS have exclusive rights to use the AAWCS Trademark. The Trademark illustrates to customers that the processor has an accredited animal welfare program from the point of receival at the establishment to the point of humane processing.
Participating livestock processors commit to the certification program rules, requiring them to implement the Standards in the documented Quality Management System, which is overseen by a member of management to make sure best practice animal welfare is maintained at all times.
Staff who handle and process livestock must also be competent and trained in the required animal welfare skills. The Australian Meat Industry Training Package provides competency based training to meet the needs of the requirement for managing animal welfare at processing sites.
Certified establishments comply with the Industry best practice standards and the certification program rules and are subject to annual independent audit by an approved auditor.
The AAWCS assists Australian meat processing establishments demonstrate to industry, Australian and international regulators, customers and consumers of Australian meat products their commitment to industry best practice animal welfare.