We Are Committed to Continuous Improvement in Animal Welfare.

The Key Benefits and Principles of AAWCS

The Australian Meat Industry Council is committed to the highest level of animal welfare, and the humane treatment of livestock from receival  to  processing. This commitment to industry best practice underpins AMIC’s principle belief that all animals must be treated humanely without suffering, pain or distress.

What are the key benefits for participating livestock processors?


Customer Assurance

Enables certified livestock processing establishments to assure customers, regulators, industry and the general community that their establishment is operating to a system based on best practice animal welfare standards and an animal welfare system that is independently audited


AAWCS Trademark

Certified establishments have exclusive access to the AAWCS Trademark which can be used to promote the establishment’s certification status and that its brands and products have been processed in accordance with the scope and requirements of the AAWCS and the ‘Industry Animal Welfare Standards for Livestock processing Establishments Preparing Meat for Human Consumption’ (the Standards).


Access to Best Practice

Access to best practice animal welfare standards and guidance on how these should be incorporated into the establishment’s day to day operations via their documented Quality Management System / Approved Arrangement.


Exceeding Standards

Certified establishments can demonstrate they are meeting, and indeed exceeding Australia’s minimum mandatory animal welfare standards, as the Standards meet existing minimum legislative requirements, international requirements, and a number of commercial requirements.


Supply Chain

AAWCS makes a significant contribution to whole of chain animal welfare outcomes, as there is a requirement in the Standard for processors to have animal welfare provisions in their arrangements with livestock suppliers and transporters. As well as their own commitment from receival to processing.


Ethical Compliance

Ethical compliance allows you to meet your commercial and personal duty of care to the animals you receive in your care.

What are the key principles of AAWCS?



Certification will be annual following an independent verification audit by a suitably qualified auditor approved by AUS-MEAT.


Compliance - The Rules

Requires compliance with the certification program rules titled the ‘AUS-MEAT Animal Welfare (AW) Certification Program Rules for Livestock Processing Establishments’ (the Rules) which provide clarity about a participant’s obligations and the program’s expectations.



Auditors who can conduct AAWCS audits do not have to be employed by AUS-MEAT; however they must meet set competency criteria and have been approved by AUS-MEAT which ensures there is a consistent standard of auditing and integrity in the certification process.


Compliance - The Standards

Requires compliance with AMIC’s ‘Industry Animal Welfare Standards for Livestock processing Establishments Preparing Meat for Human Consumption’ (the Standards).


Quality Management System

AAWCS requirements are implemented through the establishment’s Quality Management System or Approved Arrangement which covers all activities which impinge on the welfare of animals, including Standard Operating Procedures, Work Instructions, monitoring, verification, corrective and preventive actions and recording systems.