- IMPROVING WELFARE
- ENSURING CONFORMANCE
- STRENGTHENING ESCAS
LGAP and ESCAS
According to the Australian Government’s report into ESCAS, significant improvements in animal welfare have been delivered for Australian livestock and local livestock in export markets. This benefit has been through the implementation of ESCAS coupled with exporter and customer targeted training in handling, husbandry and slaughter practices and infrastructure investment in feedlots and abattoirs. The live export industry has acknowledged, however, that there have still been incidents of poor handling and slaughter, particularly where animals have left approved supply chains.
More can be done to further improve animal welfare, strengthen compliance with ESCAS and prevent future problems from occuring.
As shown in the diagram, in strengthening ESCAS, LGAP would:
- More comprehensively cover the full supply chain, beginning at exporters, including importers and moving through the remaining supply chain parties.
- Increase impartiality in the auditing process by ensuring Certification Bodies and Auditors are appointed, contracted and remunerated by an independent Program Owner.
- Require the outcomes of audits to be reported to an independent Program Owner in real-time and as recorded, ensuring full and immediate visibility through the supply chain.
- Introduce internal auditing as a means of continual self monitoring and self checking, complemented by external audits and unscheduled, random audits.
- Require nonconformities and investigations to be acted upon with immediacy.
- Introduce centralised, independent visibility into the performance of Operators and Facilities in real-time in addition to ongoing conformance history.
- Place requirements and consequences on all participants in the supply chain, including those responsible for the day-to-day management of livestock in sovereign jurisdictions.
LGAP is not self-regulation. LGAP improves upon the ESCAS regulatory framework for livestock exported from Australia covering animal welfare from discharge in-market to the point of slaughter. The Program has been developed to strengthen the assurance sought through ESCAS by strengthening the commitment, oversight and management of welfare proportionately along the supply chain through Operators (ie exporters and importers) and Facilities (ie feedlots, farms and abattoirs) while also encouraging continual improvement and best practice.