Livestock Global Assurance Program (LGAP)

The Livestock Global Assurance Program, or LGAP, is a certification program which focuses on sustainable animal welfare, husbandry and management practices. LGAP aims to foster world’s best practice in animal welfare and encourage continuous improvement.

LGAP Standards and Rules

The LGAP Standards and LGAP Certification Rules make up the LGAP Certification Requirements.

  • There are four LGAP Standards which contain the requirements  Operators and Facilities must conform with in order to be certified under LGAP.
  • Conformance with the LGAP standards is measured through a process of audit and certification which is detailed in the LGAP Certification Rules.

 The LGAP Standards

 The LGAP Certification Rules

  • LGAP Certification Rules

    LGAP Certification Rules  sets the rules and operational requirements of the program including responsibilities, audits and certification process

How does LGAP work?

  • The operation of LGAP is supported by the LGAP Standards as well as the LGAP Certification Rules. Together, these form the LGAP Certification Requirements.
  • The LGAP Standards are applicable to different types of operators (exporters and importers) and facilities (feedlots, farms and abattoirs).
  • The LGAP Certification Rules define how the LGAP Standards are applied and the responsibilities of all parties to the Program, including AniMark, Approved Certification Bodies, Approved Auditors, operators and facilities.
  • Operators and facilities that fulfil the requirements of the LGAP Standards may apply to AniMark for certification in accordance with the LGAP Certification Rules.
  • To ensure confidence, trust, impartiality and consistency in the certification process, AniMark appoints an independent Approved Certification Body to the applicant. An Approved Auditor is allocated by the Approved Certification Body and is responsible for undertaking regular external audits and overseeing the conformance management process.
  • Approved Certification Bodies and Approved Auditors have specific requirements they must meet. These are provided in the LGAP Certification Rules.
  • To receive and maintain certification, operators and facilities are required to implement specific business and management practices, including undertaking their own internal audits. Operators and facilities will also be subject to internal, externally scheduled and random audits and be required to undergo periodic, remote e-audits.

Where can LGAP be applied?

  • LGAP is a voluntary certification program based on international precedents, research and scientific evidence.
  • LGAP can be applied by any organisation which exports, imports, produces, manages and processes livestock intended for food supply, anywhere in the world. Specifically, the scope of LGAP currently covers cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats (feeder and slaughter, but excluding dairy and breeders).
  • LGAP is relevant to the welfare of livestock in overseas markets from the point of disembarkation to the point of slaughter. It does not apply to the sourcing and on-farm preparation of livestock, land transport of livestock for export, management of livestock in registered premises, vessel preparation and loading, on-board management of livestock and air transport of livestock, which is covered by the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).

Benefits of LGAP

  • LGAP clearly defines the responsibilities of all parties who export, import, produce, manage and process livestock to ensure good animal welfare and management outcomes are achieved.
  • The LGAP Standards specify requirements associated with three levels of performance, recognising that operators and facilities around the world are at varying levels of development and sophistication.
  • LGAP provides the opportunity for operators and facilities to continually improve and move along a pathway towards best practice in animal welfare and management in an inclusive and effective manner.
  • LGAP strengthens the oversight and management of animal welfare throughout the supply chain through a Chain of Custody Standard, which ensures accountability and responsibility is placed upon appropriate parties throughout the supply chain.
  • The nonconformity management process ensures organisations not meeting the required standards are provided with the opportunity to rectify practices before serious issues arise. The process also provides an escalation pathway if issues are not resolved in a specified timeframe which can lead to the suspension or withdrawal of an operator’s or facility’s certification.
  • The primary beneficiaries of LGAP through the promotion of humane and ethical treatment, are the animals. Other beneficiaries include:
    • regulators who have an interest in regulating the supply, production, management or processing of livestock
    • livestock organisations, including industry bodies, that wish to set a benchmark for their members to maintain during the supply, management and processing of livestock
    • commercial and retail supply chains that require their suppliers to demonstrate a commitment to animal welfare and traceability outcomes.

Benefits of LGAP in relation to ESCAS

The Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) is the Australian Government’s regulatory framework which requires livestock exporters to demonstrate compliance with four principles; animal welfare, traceability and control in the supply chain and independent auditing.

The Australian livestock export industry may access LGAP and utilise the Program to demonstrate their compliance with their regulatory requirements under ESCAS.

While LGAP reflects the principles of ESCAS, it does not replace ESCAS (which remains the Australian Government’s regulatory framework). Rather, LGAP provides an alternative pathway for exporters to demonstrate their compliance with ESCAS, with the following benefits:

  • Through LGAP certification, facilities and operators will operate under a more flexible arrangement than currently exists under ESCAS and with enhanced and more direct accountability for animal welfare and management outcomes. LGAP enables a facility’s certification status to be shared between supply chains which eliminates audit duplication and cost.
  • Program participants volunteer to be held accountable to the LGAP standards and as such AniMark will have greater international reach and influence throughout the supply chain compared to any sovereign government.
  • LGAP allows facilities to operate to the required standards for both Australian and local livestock concurrently, while building pathways for continual improvement in animal welfare.
  • LGAP strengthens impartiality in the audit process and places strict requirements on auditors to ensure appropriate levels of competency and conduct.
  • LGAP provides greater and more timely visibility into conformance which aids early detection of possible nonconformances. The Program also has mechanisms in place to monitor and manage conformance during the inter-audit gap. The auditing process applied under LGAP provides for increased scrutiny and confidence in conformance than currently exists through ESCAS.

Control and traceability

Traceability of livestock through a supply chain increases visibility, improves quality control systems and reduces risk (to both animals and humans).

LGAP specifies requirements for traceability and control and places obligations on exporters, importers and facilities.

The existing LGAP Standards include requirements for the identification of livestock and the recording of movements of livestock. These functions are the underlying enablers of traceability. There are also provisions in the LGAP Standards for enabling internal (within a facility) and external (across a supply chain) traceability.

LGAP does not nominate a specific traceability system that participants need to use, rather the Program requires that a demonstrably effective system be in place, which will be audited.

© Copyright – AniMark® • AniMark has been established to implement the Livestock Global Assurance Program, with the support of the Australian Government.
Images courtesy of the Livestock Collective, Schuster Consulting, Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp.