Current tenders

MLA is seeking applications from individuals, organisations or project teams with the expertise required to undertake one or more of the following projects:

Effect of wet pen management strategy on feedlot cattle performance and carcase characteristics

Summary:

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) in consultation with the Australian Lot Feeders Association (ALFA) is seeking expressions of interest from individuals, organisations or project teams with the capability to undertake research to determine the effect of wet pen management strategy on feedlot cattle performance and carcase characteristics.  

Background:

Providing feedlot cattle with dry areas to lie down and rest during periods of extended wet weather is essential to maximise animal welfare and productivity, as well as meeting consumer expectations of livestock production. As soon as mud levels exceed a comfort threshold, dry matter intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG) and hot carcase weight of feedlot cattle decreases. In the Southern regions of Australia, it is not uncommon to see a 5-15% depression in DMI and ADG for Bos taurus cattle that are exposed to mud levels of 10-20 cm over the winter period. Severe mud conditions may depress DMI and ADG by up to 35%.

Mud that accumulates on coats (dags) reduces insulation and concurrently cattle expend more energy on thermoregulation in cold wet winter conditions. Cattle also expend energy carrying the extra weight of the dags on their coats. Dags may also pose a food safety risk, and necessitate cattle washing at the feedlot which represents a significant cost to the industry.

Terms of reference: Wet pen management

Proposals must be lodged electronically as Word document to: applications@mla.com.au
Proposals must be received by 5pm Monday 3 October 2016.

More information:

Dr. Joseph McMeniman
Feedlot Project Manager
Phone: 0447 264 341
Email: jmcmeniman@mla.com.au

Alternative Options to Power Captive Bolts Devices for Cattle

Background

Under the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), exporters must ensure that Australian livestock exported for lot feeding or processing are treated in accordance with international animal welfare guidelines (as stipulated by OIE) in the overseas supply chain. 

Compliance with best practice slaughter methods as recommended by the OIE is imperative if animal welfare is to be assured in abattoirs. An important tool to increase the probability of a positive welfare outcome is the use of stunning before slaughter, where cattle can be reliably rendered unconscious.

Stun reliability depends upon certain factors including the type of propellant used, the maintenance or calibration of the device, training on appropriate use and appropriate supporting infrastructure (including restraint boxes, head restraint etc).

The device that has the greatest application in international markets is the hand-held captive bolt that uses black-powder in a cartridge, as the propulsive agent (often .22 blank charges). These stunning devices are relatively cheap to purchase and can be used in many applications due to their portability. However the legality of the import and possession of the charges is currently being disputed in at least one of our large international markets and there is a need to constantly supply the charges to process Australian cattle. Failure to deliver or distribute charges within a market, has the potential to compromise animal welfare.

The livestock export industry is therefore keen to explore the potential options for alternative technologies to power captive bolt stun devices that can cost effectively replace the current stunners used throughout ESCAS supply chains.

Terms of reference: Alternative Options to Power Captive Bolts Devices for Cattle

Application: Preliminary Application Form

Applications Close 15 August 2016

More information:
Sharon Dundon
Manager - Livestock Export Research and Development
Ph: +61 (427) 255 335 Mobile
Ph: +61 (2) 8055 1822
E-mail: sdundon@mla.com.au