Back to News & Events

Related topics

Subscribe to MLA’s newsletters

Stay informed with the latest red meat and livestock industry news, events, research and marketing.

Sign up

Withholding periods critical to meat safety

27 November 2020

LPA-accredited goat producers are being reminded about the importance of withholding periods when treating their livestock with off-label parasiticides and other veterinary medicines.

Key points:

  • When treating livestock, it is a requirement of the LPA program that the safe and responsible animal treatments checklist is reviewed
  • Producers must have written authorisation and directions from a veterinarian to use parasiticides and veterinary medicines off-label
  • It is critical that producers abide by withholding periods and Export Slaughter Intervals and include them on the LPA NVD.

Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) accredited goat producers are being reminded about the importance of Withholding Periods when treating their livestock with off-label parasiticides and other veterinary medicines.

Under LPA requirements, the management of safe and responsible animal treatments is one of the seven requirements that producers need to satisfy.

Every LPA-accredited producer must undertake withholding periods to ensure that animal treatments are administered in a safe and responsible manner that minimises the risk of chemical residues and physical hazards.

Download the checklist

When treating livestock, it is a requirement of the LPA program that the safe and responsible animal treatments checklist is reviewed. The checklist covers:

  • competency in administering treatments
  • following label directions
  • safe storage of veterinary chemicals
  • maintenance of equipment
  • management of cross-contamination between animals
  • appropriate injection sites and technique
  • recording of treatments and adverse reactions.

Under the guidelines, producers must have written authorisation and directions from a veterinarian to use parasiticides and veterinary medicines off-label.

State and territory governments are responsible for controlling the use of parasiticides and veterinary medicines beyond the point of retail sale. In some states, more than one agency is involved.

If a product is not registered for use in goats, then the maximum residue limit (MRL) for goats is zero. This means producers must first check with their state or territory government about what off-label use is allowed, and depending on the product, may need a prescription from a veterinarian or an APVMA permit.

Further advice on product use and calculating safe WHPs or Export Slaughter Intervals (ESIs) can be sought from the product manufacturer themselves or your state or territory government.

Accurately documenting and filing all animal treatment details is critical. A template for producers to record livestock treatments is available to download from the Integrity Systems website here.

Adverse reactions

If livestock experience an adverse reaction to a chemical treatment, then this information must be passed on if the animal is sold (notes can be added in ‘additional information’ on LPA NVDs).

Should an adverse reaction occur, it’s important to involve your local veterinarian who can assess the severity and potential consequences from the reaction.

Producers are also encouraged to report any adverse reactions to the APVMA and information on how to submit a report can be found on its website.

Understanding WHPs and ESIs

It is critical that producers abide by WHPs and ESIs and include them on the LPA NVD.

The WHP for meat is the minimum time after an animal is treated with a veterinary medicine or parasiticide before it may be legally slaughtered for human consumption. WHPs are set to ensure that chemical residues, if any, in the carcase are below the MRL allowed for that chemical in food in Australia.

An ESI is the period that must lapse between chemical application to livestock and their slaughter for export. Compliance with the ESI means that the slaughtered livestock will meet the residue limits which apply in all export markets.

WHPs and ESIs for parasiticide and veterinary medicines are available on the product label of registered products. Product labels can be viewed via the Public Chemical Registration Information System database.

For the latest ESIs and WHPs, visit the APVMA website.