Tips for integrity systems compliance this spring selling season

30 June 2019

Producers buying and selling sires this spring selling season are being urged to meet relevant requirements under the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) and National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), ensuring integrity.

LPA accredited producers must meet certain animal welfare and biosecurity requirements under the LPA program before introducing stock on-farm.

Farm Biosecurity Plans should be reviewed and updated and records of all livestock, vehicle and visitor movements onto and around the property should be kept.

Additionally, all introduced stock should be screened and quarantined if necessary and livestock movements managed and recorded to minimise the risk of introducing and/or spreading infectious disease.

On-farm biosecurity systems are vital to minimising the risk of infectious diseases being introduced to livestock production properties and the subsequent spread of any such diseases.

When quarantining stock, producers should make an assessment based on potential risk and ensure introduced animals have had time to empty out prior to release into a paddock. Where the risk of introducing weed seed or disease is high, stock should be held in the yards or a smaller paddock where they can be monitored and regularly checked for a time period that is relevant to the assessed risk. Quarantine based on risk is an important component of managing biosecurity on-farm.

Keeping records of introduced stock and on-farm management practices are critical to the success of Australia’s integrity system. When LPA producers are notified of an audit, they may need to show records that animals were quarantined.

When introducing new bulls and rams, producers should consider on-farm management practices to ensure animal welfare best practice and increased productivity:

  • Where possible, introduced bulls/rams should be kept with animals of similar age to minimise potential fighting and injury,
  • Allow bulls/rams coming from different geographic and climatic environments sufficient time to adjust before joining the breeding herd
  • Ensure new stock are either vaccinated or free from any disease risks. Consider if diseases prevalent in your area (such as tick fever, 3 day or botulism for bulls) require additional vaccinations to be administered.

Although not mandatory when buying livestock through studs or saleyards, producers should request an Animal Heath Declaration form. This tool allows producers to assess animals they are purchasing, including vaccination history and the biosecurity risk those animals may pose.

Resources to help producers comply with animal welfare and biosecurity LPA requirements when introducing stock are available.

To maintain Australia’s reputation in disease control and traceability, producers need to also comply with NLIS requirements around livestock identification and movement documentation.

Additionally, all stock movements must be accompanied by a National Vendor Declaration (NVD) and livestock transfers need to be completed on the NLIS database.

When moving bulls or rams across state and territory borders, any specific state or territory paperwork requirements must also be completed. It is also important to complete the NLIS transfer within the timeframes required in your jurisdiction, as this varies between states and territories. State/Territory NLIS contact details can be found here.

To learn more about making online transfers with NLIS visit the NLIS website.

Further information

MLA’s new genetics hub provides a one-stop-shop of resources for cattle and sheep producers. These include videos on how to shop for a high-performing sire which feature what to do before, during and after the sale.