Ensuring that supply chain participants in Australia as well as in importing countries are well trained, is a priority area for Australian livestock exporters.
In addition to exporting livestock around world, Australia’s livestock export industry delivers skills to people working in the supply chains of our export markets. In recognising that great responsibility comes with being the one of world’s largest export of livestock, Australia’s livestock export industry invests significantly in providing training, analysing welfare risks and offering technical support in off-shore markets.
The Livestock Export Program (LEP) is a joint program between Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and LiveCorp. The LEP invests producer and exporter levies in a range of livestock export activities along the supply chain to deliver outcomes against four key imperatives;
* Ongoing improvement in animal welfare outcomes
* Improved industry efficiencies, capabilities and livestock performance through the supply chain
* Build Government and community support for the industry and increase stakeholder awareness and satisfaction
* Improve market access conditions and build demand for Australian livestock
The LEP undertakes in-market training programs in animal handling and slaughter to help exporters and importers improve welfare outcomes and support compliance with the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) and OIE guidelines.
In 2012-13, training was delivered to 1100 participants in supply chains in Middle East North Africa (MENA) markets and 850 participants across South East Asia. Since September 2011, over 4000 people involved in approved supply chains in Indonesia have participated in LEP training activities.
The LEP delivers standardised training programs for cattle and sheep to deliver uniform training against Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) along the supply chain with relevant modules for ports, transport, feedlot, lairage, animal handling and slaughter with and without stunning.
For many participants, this is the first time they have participated in formal or informal training. The recognition they receive for their new set of welfare skills can be a powerful motivator of better treatment of animals.
In addition, a ‘train the trainer’ module is delivered which helps leverage industry’s efforts to improve animal welfare by embedding animal welfare training capability in the markets receiving Australian livestock.
(Photo; Animal Welfare Officer, Philippines)