The Livestock Animal Welfare Association(LAWA) was established by Dr Michael Levien and has been active since 1972. It started off as a one man show called Animal Aid South Africa with the acronym AASA. It’s major aim and principle object was to lift, as far as possible something of a burden of suffering of our fellow travellers.

It concentrated on problems concerning non-domestic animals such as seals, vivisection, game and wild animals and livestock in abattoirs and in transport by road, rail and air. This was the nucleus of the Livestock Rescue Centre with its formal inception in 1978. The Livestock Welfare Association known as LAWA was registered in 1984 as a society not for gain in terms of section 21 of the companies act.


LAWA has been a major role player in animal welfare and is probably the most influential welfare organization caring for the welfare of livestock. LAWA was also the single organization in South Africa that was responsible for the initial research and design of the upright restraining cattle slaughter equipment for kosher slaughter.

In September 2004 the up-right slaughter box was finally enforced as the only acceptable method for slaughter of kosher cattle and has been installed and is presently operating in three abattoirs. LAWA was also a major contributor towards the development of livestock welfare codes, as well as SABS standards.


In August 1978, LAWA together with the Meat Board decided to create the  Livestock Welfare Coordinating Committee(check link) which still today is unique-in-the-world and virtually incorporates every organization and operating body involved in the livestock industry.