BIOSECURITY SA is reminding South Australian vendors and agents placarding cattle with 'Beef Only' signs to ensure they meet the requirements of the assurance system for an unacceptable number of non-compliant lots.
The signs were introduced in 2008 to facilitate trade between areas, states and properties.
The vendor declaration provides buyers with an assurance the cattle have a very low risk of carrying bovine johnes disease.
It has proved popular with NewSouth Wales weaner buyers seeking solely Beef Only cattle at South East sales held earlier this year.
To be eligible for Beef Only, cattle must be from a beef herd that has not been grazing the same land as adult dairy cattle, or dairy-cross cattle, at any time during the previous five years, unless those dairy cattle were from a herd enrolled in the Australian Johne's Disease Market Assurance Program for Cattle, and all cattle introduced to the herd must also be Beef Only or MAP cattle.
Biosecurity SA senior veterinary officer Jeremy Rogers said PIRSA had inspectors who monitored every cattle sale in SA, including where Beef Only declarations are made by vendors about the status of their cattle for sale.
He said a common fault was the failure to fill out a vendor declaration correctly declaring the status of the cattle for sale.
In intensive audits of sales at the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange in the first quarter of the year, it was found 9.3 per cent of vendor lots were unaccompanied by the necessary paperwork and were unable to be sold as Beef Only.
Dr Rogers said that in the last half of 2012, a total of 17 non-compliances were found from prime and store sales at Naracoorte and Mount Gambier, and the Royal Adelaide Show, as well as eight on-farm audits.
Dr Rogers said the consistent major source of non-compliance was the failure of vendors to obtain, and be able to produce records (as required) that all cattle introduced to the property in the past five years were Beef Only cattle or higher status.
*Full report in Stock Journal, July 11 issue, 2013.