Frequently Asked Questions

A list of commonly asked questions are listed below. If your enquiry requires more help please contact us at [email protected].

General Questions

What is the AAWCS?

The Australian Livestock Processing Industry Animal Welfare Certification System (AAWCS) is an independently audited animal welfare program. Its role is to ensure our meat processors receive, care for and humanely process livestock to best practice animal welfare standards whilst under their control. AAWCS is an initiative of the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC).

Who is AMIC?

The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) is the peak body representing the post farm-gate meat industry, including livestock processors, smallgoods makers and independent retailers. The Council is committed to the highest level of animal welfare, and humane treatment of livestock.

How can I be sure that the product I am buying is processed humanely?

Only processors that have been accredited by the AAWCS and can demonstrate their superior animal welfare practices can bear the AAWCS trademark.

How does the AAWCS accreditation work?

The AAWCS enables Australian livestock processors to demonstrate to their customers and the general community, their superior commitment to best practice animal welfare. Certified livestock processors are subject to annual checks by independent auditors and must follow strict procedures as set-out in the ‘Industry Animal Welfare Standards for Livestock Processing Establishments Preparing Meat for Human Consumption’ 

These Standards require:

  • processing staff to be professionally trained to manage livestock in accordance with low stress handling techniques that ensures their welfare at all times
  • facilities and equipment to be designed to ensure minimal interference and stress to livestock
  • injured or sick animals are treated accordingly and humanely
  • processing procedures are carried out in a humane and effective manner
How can you be sure processors are abiding by the accreditation guidelines?

Certified livestock processors are subject to annual checks by independent auditors. This ensures they demonstrate compliance with industry best practice animal welfare requirements defined in the ‘Industry Animal Welfare Standards’.

How often are the Industry Animal Welfare Standards reviewed?

The committee includes industry experts and representatives from animal welfare groups, government and animal welfare scientists to ensure they remain current and in line with best practice.

How do I know the AAWCS is credible?

The industry takes animal welfare very seriously. Accredited processors are audited annually by independently approved auditors to ensure they are meeting the program’s requirements. Approved auditors are experienced in animal welfare and auditing, which maintains a consistent approach and integrity in the certification process.

What are the key benefits to customers?

Customers can be assured that when they purchase products displaying the AAWCS logo, they are taking home product that has been humanely processed.