Going into goats: Obligations for producers

Going into Goats: Obligations for producers

11 October 2022
-Min Read
TAGS Goats
MLA’s Going into Goats program now includes the newest information and resources to comply with NLIS and LPA.

 Quick facts: 

  • MLA’s Going into Goats provides tools and information to help goat producers increase productivity while minimising risk 
  • Module 3: Industry Obligations outlines key areas goat producers must be aware of in relation to LPA and NLIS requirements 
  • Goat producers have a responsibility to comply with legislation and assurance programs to ensure quality, safety and traceability of goat and goatmeat products 

The Going into Goats program is MLA’s delivery platform for research and development outputs relating to farmed and rangeland goat production systems. The program’s primary resource is a package of 11 modules that outlines the essentials for a successful goat production system, with tools and information to help goat producers increase productivity while minimising risk. 

Module 3: Industry Obligations outlines the requirements of goat producers in relation to: 

  • animal welfare 
  • livestock health and disease management 
  • sale and movement of goats 
  • quality assurance 
  • biosecurity. 

These aspects are outlined in full through the requirements of Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) and the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS). These programs underpin Australia’s red meat integrity system, enabling market access and customer assurance. Producers must comply with LPA and NLIS requirements to ensure the safety and quality of their goats and goat products. 

LPA and NLIS for goat producers 

NLIS is Australia's system for the identification and traceability of cattle, sheep and goats. The NLIS reflects Australia's commitment to biosecurity and food safety and provides a competitive advantage in a global market. 

NLIS combines three elements to enable the lifetime traceability of animals: 

  1. All livestock are identified by a visual or electronic ear tag/device.  
  2. All physical locations are identified by means of a Property Identification Code (PIC) 
  3. All livestock location data and movements are recorded in a central, national database. 

In some states and territories from 1 March 2023, all dairy goats as well as earless and miniature goats of any age, must have an accredited NLIS ear tag or an accredited NLIS leg-band before they leave their property of birth (the tagging of dairy, earless and miniature goats in Victoria is voluntary). These movements will need to be recorded in the NLIS Database.

The LPA program is the on-farm assurance program that underpins market access for Australian red meat. It protects the disease-free status of Australian red meat and underpins the marketing of our product as safe and high quality. Producers who choose to participate in the LPA program commit to carrying out on-farm practices that feed into and support this integrity, with seven requirements making up the program: 

  • Property risk assessments 
  • Safe and responsible animal treatments 
  • Stock foods, fodder crops, grain and pasture treatments 
  • Preparation for dispatch of livestock 
  • Livestock transactions and movements 
  • Biosecurity 
  • Animal welfare. 

A primary piece of documentation required within this program is the National Vendor Declaration (NVD), which provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock through the value chain. If you are LPA-accredited, an LPA NVD must be completed for every livestock movement, along with an NLIS transfer. 

Additional requirements for goat producers 

While NLIS and LPA cover the baseline for resources and requirements, Module 3: Industry Obligations of Going into Goats also includes information on: 

  • Animal Welfare Codes of Practice 
  • Australian Industry Standards and Guidelines for Goats 
  • National Goat Health Declarations 
  • Specific requirements state-by-state 
  • Management of pests and dangerous fauna. 

Australian goat producers must be aware of any additional or differing requirements they must abide by, depending on their breed and state. 

The National Goat Health Statement is a nationally agreed declaration form that enables goat vendors to provide assurance about the health status of goats for sale. Buyers can check and compare health statements to ensure that any purchased goats won’t compromise the health of their herd. This statement can be accessed through the eNVD platform, or from Animal Health Australia. 

Regardless of the breed of goat you run or whether your enterprise is for meat, dairy or fiber, everyone in the goat industry has an important role to play in the red meat integrity system. By upholding compliance and producer obligations, you will ensure a quality, safe product for our consumers, and will continue Australia’s reputation as a leading red meat producer. 

The Going for Goats guide has 11 modules that address different aspects of the goat production system, all of which can be downloaded for free here.  

For more information on rangeland-specific goat management, visit: Module 12: Rangeland Management

For more information on goat producer integrity, visit: Home | Integrity Systems