AMIC Policies

AMIC advocates on behalf of our members to effect change in areas that impact their business

Recent Policies

Video Surveillance System in Livestock Processing Establishments – February 2024


Australian livestock processors are committed to delivering best practice animal welfare outcomes. This commitment led to the voluntary adoption of the independently audited Australian Livestock Processing Industry Animal Welfare Certification System (or AWWCS) over ten years ago.

AAWCS is underpinned by best-practice animal welfare standards for processing livestock – standards jointly developed by industry representatives, animal welfare groups and independent experts. AAWCS now covers over 80% cattle, sheep and pigs processed in Australia and participation in the program has now been adopted as a commercial requirement by many end-users.

To ensure AAWCS remains best practice and to provide consumers greater confidence that the meat they consume comes from humanely processed animals, the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) has determined to work with relevant stakeholders and make Video Surveillance Systems (VSS) a mandatory requirement of AAWCS.

All AAWCS certified establishments will be required to have a functional VSS installed in their facilities to monitor livestock handling processes from the point of receival through to the point of slaughter by 2026.

A VSS should be used as a supplementary management tool to ensure animal welfare outcomes are being met. While footage may be viewed and verified by auditors during audits, VSS data must remain within the control of each establishment.

VSS must be implemented with suitable checks and balances in place to ensure privacy and data security are not compromised.

AMIC strongly encourages all processing establishments to join the AAWCS program. However, we also recognise that some facilities may not have the systems and personnel in place to meet all the requirements of AAWCS. For processing establishments outside of AAWCS, AMIC does not support VSS being a mandated requirement and/or incorporated into minimum standards. There are more pressing priorities that non-AAWCS businesses should focus on to underpin animal welfare, notably staff training and basic quality management systems.


Australian Livestock Processing Industry Animal Welfare Certification System

Media release: Meat Industry to Incorporate Mandatory VSS in Animal Welfare Certification System

Australian Meat Imports – May 2023

AMIC supports science-based biosecurity and maintaining an appropriate level of protection when importing goods into Australia.

AMIC recognises that maintaining Australia’s enviable animal disease status is of critical importance to our members, the wider meat and livestock industry, and the broader Australian economy.

AMIC supports Australia’s commitment to global rules governing trade in animals and animal products, in particular the World Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement. These rules underpin Australia’s ability to export meat to a wide array of countries and permit countries to conduct science-based assessments to manage biosecurity risk.

AMIC recognises the important role of two-way trade and the benefit consumers in Australia and overseas are awarded from having greater choice.

AMIC supports the Australian Government maintaining strong bilateral relationships with key trading partners, preserving our ability to service export markets.

AMIC supports progressing meat import access applications made to Australia through necessary, existing science-based risk assessments and public consultations, and at a timeframe appropriate to assess the application, to determine whether trade can occur and under what conditions.

AMIC notes that access to the Australian market must be contingent on trading partners’ ability to match or exceed the sanitary, biosecurity and food safety outcomes required of Australian produced meat and meat products, including in accordance with or equal to Australian Standard AS 4696:2023.

AMIC will continue to be involved in the consultation of all imported meat applications to provide advice on the appropriateness of draft risk assessments and biosecurity management measures.

AMIC will continue to be involved in the consultation of all imported meat applications to provide advice on the appropriateness of draft risk assessments and biosecurity management measures.

Sheep and Goat eID – February 2023

AMIC supports national harmonisation in the implementation of sheep and goat eID across jurisdictions and considers it vital in minimising the cost on businesses and maintaining the confidence of Australia’s trading partners. This will reduce the complexity for businesses operating and transacting across state borders and enable clear and consistent communication of changes to stakeholders along the supply chain.
AMIC encourages all states to adopt eID as quickly as possible, with mandatory tagging of all lambs born after 1 January 2025 a minimum requirement.

During the adjustment period, AMIC will support states that may choose to phase-in eID for sheep born before 1 Jan 2025 and already tagged with a visual mob-based tag, but all sheep movements must be identified with an eID by 1 January 2027.

All sheep not already tagged on 1 January 2025, no matter what age, must be tagged with an eID when next transferred. To enforce this, AMIC recommends NLIS-approved visual tags be withdrawn from sale and only eID tags be available on the market from 1 January 2025.

Biosecurity Funding Model – May 2023


AMIC expects the Commonwealth and State Governments maintain an effective biosecurity system that is adequately resourced and can respond to a changing risk landscape. Biosecurity is a critical public service that benefits everyone.  

AMIC recommends the existing and projected biosecurity funding shortfall be primarily covered via a long-term bipartisan commitment for increased budget appropriation, recognising: 

  • the significant pre-existing (meat and livestock) industry investments in Australia’s biosecurity system (including livestock traceability, land and pest management, and business biosecurity management plans) which provide benefits to the wider community, 
  • the critical role biosecurity plays in protecting Australia’s unique and valuable native flora, fauna, and ecosystems,  
  • the fundamental importance of biosecurity in underpinning human health, food security and national security – basic requirements Australians expect of Government, 
  • the difficulty in equitably apportioning and administering a beneficiary-pays cost-recovered funding mechanism,  
  • the scope of existing cost-recovered government export services and already uneven playing field Australia faces against heavily subsidised overseas industries, and 
  • parts of the biosecurity system not currently cost-recovered delivering multiple benefits and having soft diplomacy spill-over effects. 

The Australian tax base should take on a significant role in a sustainable biosecurity funding model.  

While some cost-recovery for ‘risk-creating’ (import) services is warranted, these must remain proportionate and based on nuanced risk-based metrics. 


AMIC Submission – Sustainable Biosecurity Funding – 28 November 2022

RMAC Submission – Agriculture (Biosecurity Protection) Levies Bill 2024 – April 2024