Livestock producers must ensure veterinary drugs are only used when necessary, that animals get an effective course of treatment, and there is minimal risk of adverse side effects – including carcase residues or physical contaminants.
For veterinary treatments:
Anyone applying or handling chemicals must be able to demonstrate competency in the storage, handling, preparation, use and disposal of chemicals. Ideally, livestock producers will hold or be under the supervision of someone that has a current recognised chemical user’s certificate. Certificates should be stored and presented during the LPA audit.
Cattle treated with HGPs must be identified by a triangular ear punch so they can be kept separate where necessary. Some customers and markets do not want to buy meat that has been treated with HGPs.
The withholding period 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. Withholding periods 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.
In general, slaughter and feeder animals should not be treated with a veterinary drug if the withholding period exceeds the expected date of departure from a property.
An export slaughter interval (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. ESIs are revised throughout the year, which means the ESI printed on the LPA NVD may be out of date. For the latest version, producers should visit www.apvma.gov.au/esi
Livestock producers are required to keep a record of all animal treatments, and update this record every time an animal is treated with veterinary chemicals, including HGPs. These records must contain information on:
You must also permanently identify any animals that:
All livestock treatment details, including the relevant WHP and ESI, must be recorded on the LPA NVD to ensure that livestock are not processed for human consumption before these have expired.
Note: Keep records for a minimum of three years, in accordance with State legislation, or for the duration of the livestock on the PIC, whichever is longer.