On-farm animal welfare and biosecurity management practices are key elements of the Livestock Production Assurance program and compliance with these additional elements will be enforced under the program’s random audit system from July.
These two additional requirements were added to the five existing elements — property risk assessment, safe and responsible animal treatments, safe livestock feed, preparation for dispatch, and livestock transactions and movements — in October 2017.
To meet the biosecurity requirements under the enhanced LPA program, every LPA-accredited producer needs to have a Farm Biosecurity Plan in place and implement this on their farm.
LPA-accredited producers must also be able to demonstrate that their on-farm handling of livestock is consistent with the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.
Those responsible for livestock management need to have a copy of the standards and guidelines, be familiar with its content, complete the LPA Learning module, and advise and oversee others handling livestock.
‘‘Most producers are on the right track in meeting the requirements, they just need to spend some more time demonstrating what they are doing,’’ AUS-MEAT auditor Brendan Ryan said.
‘‘When they are notified about an audit, my advice to producers is to not panic; they just need to read the information pack carefully and they will know what to do.
‘‘The biosecurity plan doesn’t need to be a massive document. Producers just need to think about the things they do with regards to biosecurity on their own farm, and document it using a template.’’
■Resources to help producers plan for audits are available at: www.mla.com.au/integrity
■Find the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines at: animalwelfarestandards.net.au