Residues in livestock

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) has legislation in place to ensure meat, milk and fibre products are free of harmful residues. These regulations safeguard people, animals, and the environment to help maintain access to overseas markets.

Harmful residues occur when chemicals or heavy metals exceed the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) established in law by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). Every year in Western Australia over 1 500 random meat and offal samples are tested for residues by the national residue survey. DAFWA undertakes investigations for all residue detections over the MRL. In 2012/13, 0.2% of the total number of samples tested was in excess of the MRL. This very low level of residue violations backs Western Australia’s claim to produce some of the world’s safest meat products.

DAFWA actively manages long-term organochlorine contaminated properties and works closely with farmers where contaminated sites or access to chemicals poses a residue risk to livestock.