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The Casino Food Co-op animal disease data pilot

Project start date: 01 December 2018
Project end date: 30 November 2020
Publication date: 26 July 2021
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grain-fed Cattle, Grass-fed Cattle
Relevant regions: National

Summary

The purpose of The Casino Food Co-op animal disease data pilot study was to demonstrate the value of sharing and utilising disease and defect data along the supply chain to improve productivity and profitability.

The project was part of the red meat pilot trials for the Rural Research & Development of Profit project Health 4 Wealth.

While many meat processing recording systems are already in place, data collection on disease-related carcase and offal condemnations and feedback of this information to producers varies considerably. The Health 4 Wealth project aims to introduce a standardised and comprehensive approach to data collection of disease-related carcase and offal condemnations and feedback to producers. This will allow producers to monitor disease prevalence in their livestock and make informed decisions to maximise yield outcomes.

Objectives

The objective of The Casino Food Co-op animal disease data pilot study project was to:

  • demonstrate that individual and lot-based animal disease and defect data can be effectively and efficiently transferred to producers
  • demonstrate that animal disease and defect data can be correlated to an individual animal where and individual ID is present
  • provide animal disease and defect inspection information to producers to help them make better informed decisions regarding on-farm practices to improve livestock/carcase performance
  • provide learnings that can be incorporate into the wider Health 4 Wealth project
  • provide recommendations that can be incorporated into the NLIS and LDL project plans to further develop these systems in carcase disease and defect data collection and dissemination.

In working to achieve the project objectives a series of six milestones were developed and actioned in a chronological order. These milestones were:

  • standardise recording of agreed conditions
  • amend existing systems to enable standardised defect and diseases to be recorded
  • identification of infrastructure and hardware requirements
  • training of meat inspectors
  • validating that the data being collected is correct (data validation).

Key findings

The Casino Food Co-op in completing the final stages of this project has identified the outcomes as a success with all development, training and validation completed effectively. NCMC during the last milestone, the soft launch, found that members were quite receptive of the LDL platform, and the disease and defect data available.

Benefits to industry

The project has demonstrated proof-of-concept that individual and lot-based carcase disease and defect data can be effectively and efficiently transferred from the abattoir to producers through existing industry infrastructure such as LDL and NLIS.

The Casino Food Co-op believes that it helps industry to understand the disease and defects in the Australian beef herd.

Collecting animal disease and defect data sheds light on geographic distribution of disease, highlighting problems at a regional level, and allowing individual farm treatment, management, and control programs to be developed, thereby maximising yield outcomes.

Future research

The Casino Food Co-op are keen to see disease and defect feedback become a national system and service provided to all producers but failing that NCMC see the benefit to our members and will ultimately progress this.

The Casino Food Co-op recommends that the only aspect that would need to be further considered for the rollout would be education producers in the use of the LDL platform.

More information

Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd