‘Fence your dump’ is the simple message Department of Agriculture and Food veterinary officer Skye Badger will be advocating at Dowerin field days this week.
While the message may be simple, the program it supports is a complex one that underpins livestock food safety in Australia.
Dr Badger said that Western Australia had an enviable reputation for producing safe meat thanks to our responsible farming practices and freedom from many diseases.
“Keeping livestock free of harmful residues strengthens our claim for producing the world’s safest meat products. The presence of harmful chemical or heavy metal residues in livestock would jeopardise access to both domestic and international markets,” Dr Badger said.
“One way that residues can occur in livestock is when they access chemicals or heavy metals present in common farm equipment like batteries, which can be found in farm dumps.
“Livestock producers can reduce the risk of residues occurring in their livestock by doing simple things like fencing the farm dump.”
Dr Badger said other ways that residues could occur were by exposure to plant chemicals used to control weeds and insects or when animal treatment directions are not followed.
“To prevent residues, producers must always follow chemical label directions, keep accurate chemical records, identify and manage contaminated areas on the farm, and identify stock and record all stock movements,” she said.
While at Dowerin, Dr Badger is also running a computer-based livestock food safety quiz for producers, who can test their knowledge for the chance to win a gourmet food hamper.
Look for the farm dump display at the DAFWA shed to do the quiz.
Media contact: Jodie Thomson, DAFWA media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937