Best-practice chemical management

20 October 2020

Managing the on-farm storage and administration of veterinary chemicals is crucial to ensuring that hazards effecting livestock are minimised and supply chain records remain accurate.

All LPA-accredited producers commit to meeting the requirements for delivering animal treatments in a safe and responsible manner that minimises the risk of chemical residues and physical hazards. This includes complying with advice from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and veterinarians, particularly in respect to the off-label use of chemicals or drugs.

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 legal directions
  • safe storage of veterinary chemicals
  • maintenance of equipment
  • management of cross-contamination between animals
  • injection sites and technique
  • recording of treatments and adverse reactions.

Accurately documenting and filing all animal treatment details is critical. A template for producers to record livestock treatments is available to download here.  Having this information on hand is required to complete LPA NVDs accurately. Information about treatments must accompany livestock when they are moved or sold, if they are still within Withholding Periods (WHPs) or Export Slaughter Intervals (ESIs).

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 vet who can assess the severity and potential consequences from the reaction. Producers are also encouraged to report any adverse reactions to the APVMA. Information on how to submit a report can be found on the APVMA website.

Understanding WHPs and ESIs

The WHP for meat is the minimum time after an animal is treated with a veterinary medicine or pesticide 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 maximum residue limit 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 pesticides 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 more information on ESIs and WHPs, visit the APVMA website.  Links to government agencies responsible for managing the use of pesticides and veterinary medicines in each state and territory are available here.

Key points:

  • LPA-accredited producers commit to administering animal treatments in a safe and responsible manner, complying with advice from the APVMA and veterinarians.
  • Abiding by WHPs and ESIs is critical to ensuring the safety of meat and access to markets.
  • Records of animal treatments must be maintained so the information can be passed along the supply chain via LPA NVDs.