Stock feed, fodder crops, grain and pasture treatments

Why do we need safe livestock feed practices?

Livestock exposed to contaminated food may contain unacceptably high chemical residues at the time of slaughter.  This may compromise food safety and harm the reputation of Australian red meat. Our customers expect that we undertake safe livestock feed practices.

Safe livestock feed practices include:

  • Minimising livestock exposure to feeds containing unacceptable chemical residues
  • Guaranteeing livestock are not fed Restricted Animal Material (RAM)

Repercussions for non-compliance by an individual producer may include failure to be paid for the livestock, and possible legal liability for the resulting cost faced by processors and the rest of the supply chain.

What must producers do to ensure they feed animals safely?

  • Directly spraying pastures or feed crops - read and follow label instructions when applying agricultural chemicals to pastures and crops. Grazing and feeding withholding periods must be observed
  • Introduced stock feed - ask for a Commodity Vendor Declaration (CVD) to identify residues of chemicals applied before or during harvest or in storage. This is your guarantee that the feed you purchased is safe from chemical contamination.
  • Spraydrift – be aware of any potential for spraydrift on to pasture paddocks. Grazing and feeding withholding periods must be observed.
  • Restricted animal material (RAM) – do not feed meat, meat and bone meal, blood meal, blood and bone meal, dog biscuits, poultry offal meal, feather meal, fishmeal or any other animal meals or manures to livestock.

When do I need a Commodity Vendor Declaration?

You should ensure that all introduced stock feeds are accompanied by a Commodity Vendor Declaration (CVD). This is your guarantee that the feed you purchased is safe from chemical contamination. In the absence of a CVD you need to assess the risk (and keep a record of same). Alternatively, you can have a sample tested for residues.

The CVD needs to provide details of:

  • The chemical(s) used to treat the commodity
  • The rate and date of chemical application
  • The relevant WHP/ESI/Export Animal Feed Interval (EAFI) as shown on the chemical label

Download the CVD here

Note: Keep records for a minimum of 3 years, in accordance with State legislation or for the duration of the livestock on the PIC, whichever is longer.

Why is the feeding of restricted animal material (RAM) banned?

The feeding of meat and bone meal to ruminant animals has been linked to the spread of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE – also known as mad cow disease) in countries afflicted by BSE. Under no circumstances should livestock be fed such products.

How can producers meet this LPA requirement?

To comply with the requirement for safe animal feed, livestock owners must:

  • Keep records for all stockfeed introduced to the property, including details of relevant withholding periods and export slaughter intervals for cattle and sheep - this includes seeking commodity vendor declarations and filing these alongside other farm documents
  • Keep records detailing chemical treatments applied to all fodder and grain crops, and all pasture treatments
  • Introduce management systems to identify livestock that may have become contaminated and to map or list treated or contaminated areas of the property
  • Regularly review and complete the fodder crop, grain and pasture treatments and stock food checklist
  • Document and file responses to this checklist and make them available should the property be subject to an LPA audit

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