Checking feed for chemical residues essential

09-Nov-2007

The Chairman of SAFEMEAT, Jack Ware, today urged livestock producers to be aware of chemical residues when feeding supplementary feeds to livestock.

Mr Ware said that there is a risk that some supplementary feeds will have been treated with agricultural chemicals and this could potentially lead to livestock residue concerns.

"The drought has brought added pressures to find feed for livestock, and with that comes the added risk of using feed types that may contain chemical residues," Mr Ware said.

"It is important that producers know whether there are any chemical residues in stock feeds at levels that could lead to contamination.

"This is a very serious issue which could potentially lead to significant financial losses to producers and processors through the loss of export markets."

Mr Ware said that when purchasing fodder that was specifically grown for livestock consumption producers should request a Commodity Vendor Declaration (CVD) 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 cattle require a completed Livestock Production Assurance National Vendor Declaration. There are questions on the LPA NVD that ask producers whether the cattle have been fed by-product feeds in the past 60 days, or if cattle have been fed stockfeeds in the last 60 days that are still within a withholding period – therefore knowing the history of this feed is important," Mr Ware said.

"It is extremely important for producers to be aware of residue risks. We understand that sourcing feed during the drought can be difficult, but the detection of chemical residues in exported meat would have serious implications for the whole livestock industry."

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 interval information.

Further information on residue risks in livestock feed is available from agronomists, State and Territory agricultural departments and from SAFEMEAT.

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