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NFAS changes on the way

18 September 2017

Several changes to the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS) will ensure continued support of the Australian grainfed beef industry and its ability to meet customer expectations through improved production, welfare and environmental management.

Jim Cudmore, Chairman of the Feedlot Industry Advisory Committee, said that although the changes will have a minimal impact on day-to-day feedlot operations, they will require lot feeders to review the quality management systems which underpin their operations.

Key changes to the NFAS Rules and Standards include the following:

  • A new definition of ‘feedlot’, providing a specific classification of a feedlot for grainfed beef production.
  • Animal welfare requirements have been updated to meet the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle rather than the superseded Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Cattle.
  • Non-conforming product notification requirements have been expanded and strengthened to ensure feedlots have a mechanism to report and address non-conforming product to external customers.
  • Risk assessment and contingency planning has been expanded beyond biosecurity and animal disease to cover a range of possible risks.
  • Livestock incident reporting requirements have been revised to provide improved clarity when reporting incidents involving livestock within the 24-hour reporting period.
  • Environmental incident reporting requirements have been revised to provide improved clarity of responsibilities for the reporting of environmental incidents.
  • Equipment calibration processes have been clarified to ensure equipment used to measure and weigh are regularly cleaned and calibrated.
  • Animal welfare incident investigation procedures have been expanded to formalise the requirements for the investigation and management of any incidents of animal cruelty.

Changes will come into effect on 1 November 2017. However, lot feeders will not be audited against them until 1 March 2018.

"The changes are an important evolution in the history of the Scheme," Jim said.

"They will provide for the continual improvement of Australian feedlot management and will ensure our industry continues to lead the world in food safety and integrity."

In preparation for the changes, lot feeders will be sent a comprehensive information pack in October.

Five regional workshops will be held across Queensland, NSW and SA in late September.

These resources will have a key focus on maintaining access to premium markets.

Details of the workshops are available in the events section of the ALFA website