Beef producers wishing to supply cattle for MSA must be registered. MSA cattle can be supplied directly to a processor or at a saleyard.
A MSA vendor declaration and a National Vendor Declaration (NVD) accompany cattle to the MSA licensed abattoir. The MSA vendor declaration confirms that MSA guidelines for cattle handling and trucking have been followed and that tropical breed content is recorded. MSA feedback is provided on cattle consigned for MSA.
Livestock agents can become registered as MSA members upon completing MSA training, to access members-only resources to assist their livestock clients. Download the MSA livestock agent registration form.
Supplying beef to a MSA processor
Check that you meet the list of MSA requirements. Once you have received your MSA producer registration number, access to MSA vendor declarations and are satisfied you meet the MSA requirements, you can consign cattle through the MSA system. Use the MSA locator or download a list to find an MSA abattoir near you.
Make sure you are familiar with the purchaser’s specifications. MSA does not take yield parameters into account but many purchasers define specific carcase weight and fat ranges.
You should liaise with the abattoir to ensure cattle are slaughtered by the required time frames. When consigning cattle to an abattoir consider trucking distances and seasonal considerations.
Fill in both the National Vendor Declaration (NVD) and the MSA vendor declaration to accompany the consignment to the abattoir. It is important that all the details are filled in correctly on both forms. MSA graders use the information from the MSA vendor declaration in the grading process. Use your LPA user profile to access free MSA e-Decs.
Ensure you receive your carcase feedback sheets from the abattoir or alternatively download them from the myMSA feedback system.
Check your compliance rates. Note any common factor in the ungraded carcases. The MSA FBS also allows you to benchmark your performance against other producers.
Talk to other MSA producers to share the knowledge they have gained from using the system. Ensure you find out about upcoming MSA producer workshops to gain more knowledge about optimising the eating quality of your beef.
Managing cattle on-farm
An important element contributing to predictable eating quality performance is the management of cattle on-farm or in the feedlot prior to slaughter. For this reason MSA has produced guidelines to optimise the eating quality potential of the animal.
The long period of care and investment in producing an animal with high eating quality potential is most at risk in the two weeks pre-slaughter and the first few hours post-slaughter. The best carcase can be reduced to a low quality, unacceptable product by inappropriate action in this period.
The damage is caused by changes in muscle glycogen (blood sugar) levels. Glycogen is in essence the energy reserve of the muscle. The glycogen level in muscle is increased by feeding (a process taking days) and rapidly reduced by stress (which may only take minutes) or activity in the live animal. At the point of slaughter, the glycogen in muscle is converted to lactic acid that steadily decreases the pH of the muscle, largely determining the ultimate eating quality result.
MSA factsheets for supplying beef
- MSA requirements for handling cattle
- How to supply beef in the MSA system
- Selling cattle through an MSA saleyard
- Buy and sell MSA beef (checklist for producers, agents and processors)
- Use the MSA locator to find a licensed saleyard near you
MSA Standards Manual for saleyards
Saleyards that wish to become licensed for MSA (beef and sheep) must adhere to the Standards Manual for saleyards.
Phone: 1800 111 672
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