Risk management for livestock producers

By Jamieson Salter

Livestock producers will be notified of at-risk animals on the National Livestock Identification System database when buying and selling animals, to better manage biosecurity.

Integrity Systems Company chief executive officer Jane Weatherley said the ‘early warning’ status encouraged buyers to assess risks before livestock was purchased.

“Responding to demand from across the value chain and following extensive consultation with peak industry councils, from Monday, January 13, 2020, the ‘early warning’ status will be visible to all supply chain participants, including producers, agents and saleyards,” Dr Weatherley said.

An ‘early warning’ status will be visible to all account holders within the NLIS database, which is operated by Integrity Systems Company, a subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia.

“The status is registered to the NLIS tag number on the NLIS database, and is assigned by either the commonwealth or state department, a vet or ISC, who will also inform the producer if one of these statuses is applied,” Dr Weatherley said.

Australian Lot Feeders’ Association president Bryce Camm said the status was an important tool to protect the industry’s reputation and market access.

“The NLIS ‘early warning’ status further strengthens our ability to monitor and manage food safety or biosecurity risks along the entire supply chain,” Mr Camm said.

“It provides greater transparency and is just one part of the broader integrity system which underpins access to more than 100 markets globally for Australian beef.”

Cattle Council of Australia president Tony Hegarty said sellers of livestock should disclose if their animals are high-risk and buyers should inquire before purchasing.

“Those who note an ‘early warning’ status are encouraged to contact the vendor or agent to establish whether an affected animal is in the consignment, and if it is, determine how it will be managed,” Mr Hegarty said.

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