Top tips for agisting livestock

Top tips for agisting livestock

March 09 2022
  • Producers should inspect the agistment property for risks, confirm the property is LPA-accredited and check if the PIC has any statuses assigned to it in the NLIS database before entering into an agistment agreement.
  • ISC recommends creating a written agreement between the agister and landowner to outline who will meet responsibilities such as meeting traceability integrity requirements.
  • LPA-accredited producers should contact their state or territory authority to see what options are available to them for managing LPA accreditation and using NVDs for livestock on agistment.
  • Producers should ensure livestock are fit to travel before being moved on and off agistment properties and have a plan to manage any potential biosecurity risks.

Producers with livestock on agistment (agisters), as well as landowners themselves (the agistees), must work together to ensure Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) and National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) requirements are met on-farm.

Meeting your integrity requirements ensures the traceability, biosecurity and welfare of livestock, guaranteeing the integrity of Australia’s red meat industry.

To meet your integrity requirements and protect your livestock when putting them on agistment, ISC recommends taking the following steps:

1. Inspect and enquire about the agistment property

Agisters should conduct a pre-agreement inspection of the agistment property and confirm if there are any contaminated sites and/or any potential for chemical exposure on the property.

If you are an LPA accredited producer, you must confirm the property is LPA-accredited and check if the property (PIC) has any statuses assigned to it on the NLIS database.

There can be implications to consider for livestock returning or being sold from non-LPA accredited PICs or from PICs with an assigned status. Enquiries should also be made about other livestock on the property, and the health status of these animals.

2. Develop a written agreement

ISC recommends developing a written agreement between the agister and the landowner, to outline responsibilities and mitigate risks to both businesses. This document should outline:

  • who is responsible for the health of the livestock, including in the event of a disease outbreak or natural disaster
  • who should update the NLIS database when livestock move on or off the property
  • which National Vendor Declaration (NVD) will be used when livestock move, according to state or territory legislation
  • who is responsible for replacing lost NLIS devices or applying new devices to livestock born on the property
  • agreed minimum biosecurity requirements (e.g. quarantine periods).

3. Determine how you will manage LPA accreditation

Depending on state or territory requirements, LPA accredited producers agisting livestock will need to either:

  • obtain their own, separate LPA accreditation and access their own NVDs for the agistment property
  • use the landowner’s NVD for moving animals off the property and ensure the landowner is responsible for meeting LPA requirements for their livestock(1)
  • set up their own PIC for the agistment property, get this PIC accredited with LPA and use their own NVDs to move the livestock on and off agistment(2).

Contact your state or territory authority to see what options are available for you.

4. Dispatch and return livestock safely from agistment

Ensure livestock are fit to travel in accordance with MLA’s Is the animal fit to load? guide before moving them on or off the agistment property.

An NVD and any other necessary consignment forms such as an Animal Health Declaration should be completed for each livestock movement. Each livestock movement must also be recorded in the NLIS database and this is the responsibility of the receiver of the livestock. Depending on your management option available under Point 3, this may be you as the stock owner at both properties. More information on livestock transactions and movements.

When livestock return from agistment, all returning livestock should be segregated from other animals for a time so they can be monitored for disease, parasites, or an associated spread of weeds. The quarantine period should reflect the potential risk associated with the retuning livestock. At a minimum, allow sufficient time for emptying out (24–48 hours) including time off feed before turning out.

It is recognised that during or after a natural disaster such as flood or fire, stock are relocated quickly. The points above should be addressed as soon as practical after movement. Contact your state or territory department for assistance in this stressful time.

For more information about meeting your integrity requirements when agisting livestock, view this fact sheet or contact your state or territory authority

Footnote:

(1) This option is only available when the landowner is LPA-accredited.

(2) This option is only available when agisting livestock in Western Australia.

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