Animal welfare and biosecurity now part of LPA audits

19 June 2018

On-farm animal welfare and biosecurity management practices are now part of the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program’s random audits.

These two requirements were added to the five existing requirements – property risk assessment, safe and responsible animal treatments, safe livestock feed, preparation for dispatch, and livestock transactions and movements – in October 2017, and are now being included in the 2000 audits carried out nationally each year.

AUS-MEAT auditor Brendan Ryan conducts LPA audits from Werribee in south western Victoria to Naracoorte in South Australia, and up to the NSW border. Since February, he has been covering animal welfare and biosecurity as part of the audits.

“It’s not hard to meet the requirements and most farmers are on the right track,” said Brendan.  

“They just need to spend some more time demonstrating what they are doing.

“When they are notified about an audit, my advice to producers is ‘Don’t panic – just read the information pack carefully and you‘ll know what to do.’”

To meet the biosecurity requirements, every LPA accredited producer needs to have a Farm Biosecurity Plan in place and implement this on their farm.

“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"

“Farmers just need to think about the things they do with regards to biosecurity on their own farm, and put this in the template. Its things farmers do every day - managing and recording the introduction and movement of livestock; controlling people, equipment and vehicles entering the property - where that’s practical; and monitoring and managing the health of their livestock.”

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.

“Producers must be able to show they have completed appropriate training in animal welfare. They need to take a look at the LPA Learning module which asks practical questions about animal care. Complete the module, print out the completion certificate, and they’ll make their auditor happy,” said Brendan. 

Resources are available to help producers meet LPA requirements for biosecurity and animal welfare:
• LPA Learning
• LPA audit check list
• LPA requirement #6: Biosecurity (fact sheet)
• LPA requirement #6: Biosecurity (video)
• LPA On-farm Biosecurity Plan (template)
• LPA requirement #7: Animal welfare (fact sheet)
• LPA requirement #7: Animal welfare (video)
• Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for sheep, cattle and goats

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