WA livestock producers are urged to carefully manage stock for potential chemical residues and help safeguard the State’s reputation as a producer of high-quality animal products exported around the world.
DAFWA veterinary officer Jenny Cotter said producers had a critical role to ensure their animals sent for slaughter did not contain unacceptable residues that could impact on market access.
“The community, along with our international trading partners expect that our meat, milk, eggs and fibre are free of any potentially harmful chemical residues,” Dr Cotter said.
“Australia’s reputation for producing safe, high-quality food depends on all livestock producers and their contractors embracing accepted chemical use standards and quality assurance systems.”
Dr Cotter said following the label recommendations of animal treatment products was a critical factor in producing safe food.
“Any variation from the product label recommendations in animal treatments, which include antibiotics, pesticides and internal or external parasite products, can result in unacceptable residues,” she said.
“Increasing dose rates above the label recommendations, changing the application method and failing to observe withholding periods between treatment and slaughter may also cause unacceptable residues.
“Producers should always seek veterinary advice before changing any aspect of the label directions, as only a veterinarian can authorise a change to the label directions. The veterinarian must give the advice in writing and include an amended withholding period and the documentation must be kept for three years.”
Dr Cotter said producers could find out more about their responsibility to produce safe food by joining Australia’s on-farm red meat food safety program Livestock Production Assurance (LPA), which is recommended for all WA cattle, sheep and goat producers.
For more information about LPA, go to mla.com.au.
Information about correct use of veterinary chemicals is also available by contacting your local DAFWA veterinary officer or on the DAFWA website agric.wa.gov.au and search ‘chemical residues’.