Stockfeed labelling in Western Australia

Page last updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2018 - 8:52am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Correct labelling of livestock feed is a important part of keeping Western Australia livestock free of harmful chemical residues and free from diseases such as mad cow disease. 

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) regulates standards for livestock feed in Western Australia including labelling so that meat, milk and eggs produced from WA livestock are safe for human consumption. These feed standards safeguard human health and help Australia's livestock industries maintain and increase access to overseas markets.

Why is it important to label feed correctly?

Correct labelling of feed reduces the likelihood that livestock will be accidentally given unsuitable feed. If feed is given to the wrong species, age or class of animal, it can potentially cause:

  • sickness or deaths in the animals
  • chemical residues in meat, milk or eggs produced from the animals
  • the introduction of diseases, such as mad cow disease, to Australia.

Feed must also be labelled correctly so that if a batch of feed becomes contaminated, it can be traced back to its place of manufacture and the remainder of the batch can be traced and recalled.

If WA livestock were found to contain harmful residues, or a disease such as mad cow disease occurred here, we would lose access to important overseas markets and jeopardise the health of people, animals and the environment. WA's export markets for livestock and livestock products were worth $2 billion in 2015/16.

Legislation

The general labelling requirements for manufactured stockfeed that is sold or supplied in WA are prescribed in the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Agriculture Standards) Regulations 2013 (the regulations). Copies of the regulations are available from legislation.wa.gov.au.

What types of stockfeed must be labelled?

  • all manufactured stockfeed sold or supplied in WA must be labelled (manufactured feed means any processed feed, additives, supplements, premixes, stock licks and by-products).
  • bagged feed
  • bulk feed.

What types of stockfeed do not require labelling?

  • feed made entirely of basic feed, such as grains, seeds, hay or chaff, provided the product name indicates it is made of basic feed
  • feed for dogs, cats, aviary birds, aquarium fish, guinea pigs and rodents.

Summary of labelling requirements

Small bags/containers up to five kilograms (5kg)

For manufactured stockfeed sold in bags or containers up to 5kg, the following information must be included on the label or bag:

  • a ‘restricted animal material’ statement (see section below)
  • trade name
  • animals and the ages of animals the feed is manufactured for (if not included in the trade name)
  • net weight in the package
  • name and address of the principal place of business of the distributor
  • if the feed is medicated, the information in the medicated stockfeed section below.

Large bags/containers more than five kilograms (5kg)

For manufactured stockfeed sold in bags or containers more than 5kg, the following information must be included on the label or bag:

  • a ‘restricted animal material’ statement (see section below)
  • trade name
  • animals and the ages of animals the feed is manufactured for (if not included in the trade name)
  • directions for use
  • storage instructions
  • expiry date or the date before which it should be used
  • if the stockfeed contains:
    • added fibre, its maximum crude fibre percentage
    • added protein, its minimum crude protein equivalent
    • added salt, the maximum salt percentage;
    • added urea, its urea percentage (if more than 3%, a warning that urea can be poisonous to stock)
  • net weight in the package
  • batch number or date of manufacture
  • name and address of the principal place of business of the manufacturer or distributor
  • if the feed is medicated, the information in the medicated stockfeed section below.

For feed supplied in large flexible bulka bags, also see the bulk stockfeed section below.

Bulk stockfeed

For manufactured stockfeed sold loose in bulk, the delivery docket will be taken to be the label and must include the following information about the stockfeed:

  • a ‘restricted animal material’ statement (see section below)
  • trade name
  • expiry date or the date before which it should be used
  • batch number or date of manufacture
  • net weight supplied
  • name of the person to whom it is supplied
  • if the feed is medicated, the information in the medicated stockfeed section below.

Feed is usually considered to be sold in bulk if it is supplied to the buyer loose rather than in a container or package.

However, feed manufacturers that supply manufactured feed in flexible bulka bags direct to a producer or other manufacturer are generally considered to be selling feed in bulk and therefore only have to meet the bulk feed labelling requirements. This can be achieved by including the required wording on a slip attached to each bulka bag or by including the wording on a delivery docket. Bulka bags used to supply restricted animal material should have a permanent RAM statement printed on the bag to ensure the bag is not re-used for ruminant feed.

Packaged stockfeed sold in large quantities

If 500kg or more of manufactured stockfeed that is packaged in bags or containers is sold to a single person in a single transaction (e.g. a pallet of 25kg bags of feed), then either:

  • each bag must be labelled separately as per packages 5kg or greater section above, or
  • the delivery docket must include the information in bulk unpackaged stockfeed section above and each bag must be labelled with:
    • “this bag must not be sold separately” or words to that effect
    • trade name
    • if not included in the trade name, the animals and the ages of animals it is manufactured for
    • name and the address of the principal place of business of the manufacturer or distributor.

Medicated stockfeed and premixes

Requirements of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (Agriculture Standards) Regulations 2013

Any manufactured stockfeed containing a veterinary chemical product (including medicated premixes) must be labelled with the following information on the package (for bagged feed) or delivery docket (for bulk feed). These requirements are in addition to the general requirements listed above:

  • the words 'medicated animal food stuff' or 'for animal treatment only'
  • the name and concentration of the active constituents of the veterinary chemical product
  • the purpose of the veterinary chemical product
  • any warnings or precautionary statements applicable to the veterinary chemical product
  • directions for the use of the stockfeed
  • if a withholding period applies to the stockfeed, the period in bold capital letters.

Other medicated feed labelling

In addition to DPIRD's requirements, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and the Western Australian Department of Health also have requirements for labelling of medicated stockfeed.

According to the APVMA requirements, stockfeed manufacturers:

  • may only incorporate a registered veterinary chemical product (also referred to by the APVMA as a 'registered veterinary medicine') in feed or a feed premix at a rate that is in accordance with the rate of use shown on the approved label for the registered product
  • must label the medicated feed or premix that incorporates the registered veterinary medicine in accordance with the instructions on the approved label for the registered product.

If these conditions are not met, the medicated premix or feed will require registration with the APVMA. More information is available from the APVMA webpage on animal feed.

The approved label for a registered veterinary medicine can usually be accessed online via the APVMA PubCRIS database.

DPIRD has put together some information that combines these requirements to help manufacturers meet all their obligations. Please contact us for a copy.

Referring to vitamins and minerals on a stockfeed bag

If you refer to a vitamin or mineral on your stockfeed bag, you must include on the bag the percentage of the daily requirement of the vitamin or mineral that your stockfeed provides.

Refer to the regulations for more information or contact us.

Restricted animal material statements

All manufactured stockfeed sold in WA requires labelling with a ‘restricted animal material’ statement (a RAM statement). The RAM statement is a sentence that specifies whether a stockfeed contains restricted animal material, or is free of restricted animal material.

RAM statement wording

If the stockfeed contains RAM, it is required to be labelled with this RAM statement:
'This product contains restricted animal material – DO NOT FEED TO CATTLE, SHEEP, GOATS, DEER OR OTHER RUMINANTS.'

If the stockfeed does not contain RAM, it is required to be labelled with this RAM statement:
'This product does not contain restricted animal material.'

RAM statement size

There are specific height requirements for RAM statements.

For bagged feed or feed sold in a container

If the RAM statement is printed or stencilled on the feed bag:

  • if the container of feed weighs more than 5kg, the letters of the RAM statement must be at least 10 millimetres high
  • if the container of feed weighs 5kg or less, the letters of the RAM statement must be at least 3mm high.

If the RAM statement is on a label attached as a separate item to the bag (e.g. sewn-in labels and stuck-on labels):

  • the letters of the RAM statement must be at least 3mm high
  • the label with the RAM statement on must be at least 120mm long by 45mm wide.
For feed sold in bulk

The RAM statement must be on the delivery docket and the letters must be at least 3mm high.

Refer to the ruminant feed ban for more information.

Other requirements for stockfeed

There are some substances that are prohibited from being used in stockfeed, and other substances which cannot exceed maximum limits. Refer to the regulations for more information or contact us.

Contact information

Katie Webb
+61 (0)8 9780 6255