Is your emergency stockfeed LPA compliant?

Is your emergency stockfeed LPA compliant?

07 November 2023
-Min Read

For regions of Australia facing a drier than usual summer, producers will need to be considering options to ensure their livestock have enough feed to sustain them through potential drought conditions.

While it is critical to ensure animals get enough feed during drought, practices must be maintained to ensure animal health and the integrity and safety of their meat.

When sourcing emergency fodder, producers should exercise caution. Purchasing stockfeed from unfamiliar suppliers can come with risks, including chemical contamination, weed seeds, restricted animal material, and poor-quality or unsuitable feed for your livestock.

Tips for safe stockfeed

To comply with the LPA requirements pertaining to animal feed, producers must:

  • Obtain and keep on file a commodity vendor declaration (CVD) for all introduced stockfeeds.
  • If no CVD is available, assess the risk of contamination and keep a record, apply a 60-day withholding period or have a sample tested for residues.
  • Only allow trained and competent people to use approved chemicals on grazing land and stockfeed, and follow all legal directions on the label.
  • Ensure that equipment used to apply or measure chemicals is calibrated before use and cleaned before and after use.
  • Ensure livestock are not fed restricted animal material (RAM) (i.e. feed that contains animal products).
  • Ensure agricultural chemicals are stored in a safe place according to instructions, particularly where animals cannot reach them.
  • Ensure management systems are in place to identify livestock that may have accessed treated paddocks or contaminated feed.
  • Record all agricultural chemical use, including spray drift and any chemical used on introduced stockfeed.
  • Declare any potentially contaminated animals on outgoing LPA National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) when selling stock.
  • Have a management system in place to map or list treated and contaminated areas, and signpost them on-farm.
  • Review and complete the fodder crop, grain and pasture treatments and stock food checklist.

By safely and responsibly managing the risk of contamination in stock foods, fodder crops, grain and pastures, we help ensure livestock and the meat they produce do not pose a food safety risk to our consumers. This helps maintain the integrity of Australia’s red meat industry and ensure exporting options remain open.

Using cotton trash as an alternative stockfeed

In some areas, cotton trash can be a useful option for alternative stockfeed, particularly in dry conditions. However, LPA accredited livestock producers can only feed their livestock cotton trash as mulch under a strict protocol. This protocol was developed by industry, approved by SAFEMEAT and incorporated into the LPA program.

The protocol ensures livestock fed cotton trash continue to meet Australia’s Food Standards and the requirements of global markets. It will ensure livestock being fed (or having access to) cotton trash do not enter the food chain within the 60-day Export Animal Feed Interval. By adhering to this protocol, producers wishing to access cotton trash can maintain their LPA accreditation.

The protocol requires producers to source cotton trash only from approved gins and it will trigger a cotton trash accessed (CTA) status being applied to all the livestock on their PIC, as well as a cotton trash PIC (CTP) status being applied to the PIC on the NLIS database.

Producers should also be aware that some buyers may choose not to purchase cattle or sheep that have been fed cotton trash, and this may compromise the value of livestock or curtail access to certain markets.

For more information on accessing cotton trash under the LPA and removing an accessed cotton trash status on NLIS, refer to the information on LPA alternative feedstuffs or the LPA Factsheet.