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:

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

Feedlot Industry Training and Leadership Development Strategy

Background

Attracting, training and retaining staff are key priorities for the Australian feedlot industry. In February 2016, MLA and ALFA held a joint workshop to identify training and leadership priorities. The workshop included feedlots, industry service providers (nutritionists, veterinarians, and engineers), registered training organisations and universities. The workshop covered formal and informal training priorities, formats for delivery of training, supply chain training requirements, and building leadership capacity and capability in the feedlot industry. A report has been completed documenting these priorities.

To progress these, the feedlot industry desires to develop a comprehensive training and leadership strategy to 2020. The strategy will address gaps, minimise duplication, and leverage on opportunities currently available to feedlots.

Terms of reference - Feedlot Industry Training Strategy

Proposals must be lodged electronically as Word document to: applications@mla.com.au
Proposals must be received by 5pm Wednesday 3rd August, 2016.

More information
Des Rinehart
Grain Fed, Live Export and Goat Program Manager
Phone: 07 3620 5236
Email: drinehart@mla.com.au

Effect of Heat Load and other factors on the incidence of Dark Cutting Carcasses of Feedlot Cattle

Background

Many Australian feedlots report an increased incidence of dark cutting carcasses during summer as a result of excessive heat load. Dark cutting is a complex multifactorial condition influenced by factors both pre- and post-slaughter. Maximising muscle glycogen is critical to minimising the incidence of dark cutting beef. Periods of excessive heat load are theorised to minimise feed intake of cattle and result in stress which collectively lower muscle glycogen. Recently, post-slaughter conditions have also been reported to influence incidence of dark cutting carcasses. Hughes et al. (2014) reported the incidence of dark cutting carcasses decreased from 8 to 3% as time of grading was increased from 14 hour to 31 hours post slaughter.

Reducing the time that cattle are off feed and duration of lairage is theorised to be critical to minimising dark cutting carcasses. Fasting periods of greater than 24 h have been reported to increase the incidence of dark cutting carcasses and reduce quantity of hot carcass weight marketed from United States feedlot research. No Australian research has examined the effects of duration of lairage on carcass characteristics of feedlot cattle during summer.

Terms of reference - Heat load & dark cutting

Proposals must be lodged electronically as Word document to: applications@mla.com.au
Proposals must be received by 5pm Friday 22 July 2016.

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