Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare

Objective

At Paraway, we recognise that humane treatment of animals is not only an ethical responsibility but also leads to better livestock quality and production outcomes. We ensure that the design and management of our production systems consider the welfare of our animals on farm and through the supply chain.

Animal Welfare Policy

Paraway’s Animal Welfare Policy ensures that at a minimum, the company’s expectations to have animal welfare in line with the relevant legislation the Five Freedoms of animals to provide:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to water and a diet to maintain health and vigour.
  • Freedom from day to day physical discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and comfortable rest areas.
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Freedom to display normal patterns of behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and appropriate company of the animal’s own kind.
  • Freedom from unnecessary fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment, which avoid mental suffering.

The policy details Paraway’s approach to achieving our animal welfare objectives and our monitoring and governance.

The Animal Welfare Policy is reviewed and updated annually. Any changes are presented to the Paraway board of Directors for approval. All Station Managers and staff are informed of the animal welfare policy as part of their induction following commencement of employment.  Click here to view our Animal Welfare Policy

Accreditation and external audit

All of Paraway’s livestock enterprises are accredited under the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program, which covers food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity. Under LPA, on-farm systems must be implemented to ensure the handling of livestock is consistent with the requirements of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for cattle and sheep.

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines detail responsibilities and set out animals’ needs in relation to feed and water, risk management in extreme weather, natural disasters, disease, injury and predation, facilities and equipment, handling and management/husbandry, breeding management, and humane killing.

For cattle, the Standards and Guidelines also cover castration, dehorning and spaying, calf rearing systems, and beef feedlots.
For sheep, the Standards and Guidelines address tail docking and castration, mulesing, and intensive sheep production systems.

Qualified auditors from AUS-MEAT conduct on-farm audits for LPA. The audit program is overseen by Integrity Systems Company.

Training

Paraway provides staff with training to provide the skills to implement Paraway’s Animal Welfare Policy. Training is dependent on job requirements and can include low stress stock handing and vaccination administration. A training register is maintained to ensure that employees are capable of undertaking the requirements of their role without compromising the welfare of our animals.  

Performance objectives

Paraway’s strives to continually improve our animal welfare performance. We collect data on a number of animal welfare metrics to monitor and evaluate our performance, including body condition scores (BCS), mortality rates and animal welfare incidents.

A key metric of animal welfare performance is BCS. BCS is a visual assessment of the amount of fat and muscle covering the bones of an animal, regardless of body size. It is a good indicator of the overall nutritional status of the animal, which in turn is a good indicator of health and reproductive success. Paraway monitors the body condition score and aims to keep our animals at appropriate levels which are dependent on species, breed and geography.

Paraway reports animal welfare performance to the Board of Directors.