With drought affecting significant areas of rural Australia, particularly throughout Queensland, SAFEMEAT – the industry/government partnership established to oversee and promote sound management systems to deliver safe and hygienic product to the market place – urges livestock producers to be aware of chemical residues when feeding supplementary feeds to livestock.
The Chairman of SAFEMEAT, Mr Ross Keane, warns producers that there is a risk under drought conditions that some supplementary feeds will have been treated with agricultural chemicals and this could potentially lead to livestock residue concerns.
It is important that producers know whether there are any chemical residues in stock feeds at levels that could lead to contamination. Such contamination could lead to significant financial losses to producers and processors through the loss of export markets.
SAFEMEAT advises producers that, when purchasing fodder that was specifically grown for livestock consumption, a Commodity Vendor Declaration (CVD) should be requested from the seller. If producers are buying fodder that was not originally grown for livestock consumption, such as vegetable waste, producers should request a By-product Vendor Declaration (BVD). Both documents provide details on the chemical residue status of the feed.
Most purchasers of slaughter livestock require a completed Livestock Production Assurance National Vendor Declaration (LPA NVD). There are questions on the LPA NVD that require producers to know the history of the feedstuffs fed to stock and this becomes especially important during drought conditions.
The CVD and BVD are available from the Meat & Livestock Australia website. Producers should also check the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website for the most recent updates to label directions, including export label information.
Further information on residue risks in livestock feed is available from agronomists, state and territory agricultural departments and from SAFEMEAT.