The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) has welcomed today’s election announcement by Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce, confirming $8.3 million over four years from a re-elected Coalition Government for the implementation of the Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP).
ALEC chief executive officer Alison Penfold said the funding would help progress the implementation process.
“ALEC is committed to strengthening our ability to deliver and demonstrate compliance with ESCAS and driving animal welfare improvements on a global scale. Today’s announcement confirms Minister Joyce and the Coalition share that vision and commitment,” Ms Penfold said.
“LGAP has been developed as an animal welfare conformity and certification program which has been developed as part of Meat & Livestock Australia/LiveCorp’s Live Export Program RD&E activity portfolio over the past 18 months.
“LGAP is an improved and strengthened system which has been designed to provide assurances that animals are treated in accordance with the ESCAS Animal Welfare Standards for Australian livestock from discharge to the point of slaughter.
“LGAP aims to do more for improving the welfare of all animals in foreign markets because it is not limited in its scope to Australian livestock only. Importantly, it will also be able to place requirements and consequences on in-market importers, auditors, feedlots and abattoirs – not just exporters. This will go a long way to addressing the concerns raised by our industry’s critics.
“It will be a regulatory enabler at arms-length from industry, run by a program owner under a mixed-membership model. The Australian Government will still remain the regulator of the Australian livestock export industry. The trade has never self-regulated and that won’t change under LGAP.”
Ms Penfold said that ALEC members have provided in-principle support for the implementation of LGAP, but know that it’s initial implementation and success requires Australian Government support.
“That’s why today’s funding commitment is significant for our industry.”