How to be prepared for audit

01 March 2018

Since 1 October 2017, on-farm animal welfare and biosecurity management practices became additional requirements of the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accreditation.

Inclusion of these elements in the program formalises industry standards and proves to customers that we are supplying a safe and ethical product. Under LPA, on-farm systems must be implemented to ensure the management and handling of livestock is consistent with community expectations and the requirements of more than 100 global markets that buy Australian red meat.

To meet biosecurity requirements, all LPA-accredited producers need to have a Biosecurity Plan in place on their farm. The LPA Biosecurity Learning module will help producers understand these requirements.

A Biosecurity plan template with recommendations for assessing and managing risk can be found here This template is optional and producers can use their own template if they prefer.

To meet the animal welfare requirements, every LPA accredited producer needs to demonstrate that their on-farm handling of livestock is consistent with the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.

Those responsible for livestock management will need to have a copy of the Standards and Guidelines on hand and be familiar with its content, complete the LPA learning module, and advise and oversee others who handle livestock.

The new requirements are now being considered in LPA audits. To prepare for audit, an audit notification pack will be provided to producers including an audit checklist to help them ensure their operation is up to date. Reviewing on-farm practices against the checklist will identify any areas that may need attention before the audit. The more preparation that is done before the audit, the smoother the process is likely to be. An audit checklist is available here to assist producers to prepare for audit.

To give producers time to understand their responsibilities, sanctions will not be imposed until 1 July 2018. More than 12,000 producers have voluntarily renewed their LPA accreditation since the changes came into effect on 1 October 2017. Feedback from a number of producers has indicated that the process was straightforward and easy to follow.