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How safe is Australian red meat to eat?

A world-leading system of on-farm assurance, animal identification and traceability from paddock to plate guarantees that Australian red meat is clean, safe and natural.

Australia’s world-class quarantine and biosecurity systems have kept our animals free from horrible diseases like foot and mouth disease and BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy).

This means that everyone who loves eating Australian red meat every week can be certain that it is safe for them and their family.

How can I be sure Australian red meat is safe?

On farms and in feedlots, Australian farmers maintain their own biosecurity systems. They take enormous care to keep their herds and flocks healthy, through ready access to feed and water and nutritional supplements when they’re needed, as well as protection from local pests and diseases.

This commitment to animal wellbeing and the quality and safety of Australian red meat continues throughout the export, transport and processing stages of production.

Every stage of the process is overseen by Integrity Systems Company and underpinned by government legislation. There are two main elements:

The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program – the on-farm assurance program, providing evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices

The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) – ensures livestock is traceable at all times to allow a fast and efficient response to disease outbreaks or food-safety incidents.

What does the Livestock Production Assurance program do?

The LPA delivers peace of mind to consumers that the Australian red meat they buy is of the highest quality and safe to eat. To ensure this is the case, producers commit to meeting seven on-farm requirements:

  • Property risk assessments
  • Safe and responsible animal treatments
  • Stock foods, fodder crops and pasture treatments
  • Preparation for dispatch of livestock
  • Livestock transactions and movements
  • Biosecurity
  • Animal welfare

Learn more about LPA

What does the National Livestock Identification System do?

The NLIS is Australia’s system for identifying and tracing cattle, sheep and goats. It reflects the commitment to biosecurity and food safety. There are three key aspects to the system, designed to ensure the NLIS can provide a life history of every animal’s movements:

  • Animal identification
  • Property identification
  • Buying, selling and moving livestock.

Learn more about the NLIS

What about the use of antibiotics and hormones?

Australian farmers care deeply about their animals. So although Australia is a world leader in minimising antibiotic use in red meat production, if livestock are sick, they can be prescribed antibiotics by a veterinarian.

All antibiotics undergo a rigorous pre-approval process where the safety to animals, humans and the environment is assessed, and residues in edible beef products are monitored.

Hormonal growth promotants (HGPs) are naturally occurring hormones or synthetic alternatives. They are used safely in cattle to accelerate weight gain.

There are no safety concerns for humans if HGPs are used when raising cattle. HGPs for use in beef cattle are approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

Did you know?