Catching cows with the push of a button by lindayy


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                   Catching cows with the push of a button
                 The recent outbreaks of foot and            Mr Ware said that the exercise tested the   in 2004, starkly highlighting the
                 mouth disease (FMD) in southern             ability of each state to comply with all    difference in performance of the old
                 England are a timely reminder to            five National Traceability Performance      system and the NLIS.
                 all Australian livestock producers of       Standards for the first time.
                                                                                                         “The results of Cowcatcher 1 convinced
                 the value of our national traceability
                                                             “Because all states now have                a number of states to commit to the
                 system, the National Livestock
                                                             implemented NLIS, almost 99 per cent        full implementation of the NLIS. The
                 Identification System (NLIS),
                                                             of cattle were traced back to their         results of Cowcatcher 2, conducted in
                 and the importance of it meeting
                                                             property of birth within 24 hours,” Mr      May 2007, confirmed the wisdom of
                 performance standards.
                                                             Ware said.                                  this decision,” Mr Ware said.
                 A recent NLIS traceability exercise,
                                                             “The 300 animals used for the               The National Traceability Performance
                 ‘CowCatcher 2’, demonstrated that
                                                             tracing exercise were in turn linked        Standards require that within 24
                 the system has lead to a significant
                                                             to hundreds of thousands of other           hours for an animal of interest, that
                 improvement in the nation’s capacity
                                                             animals. One state which was                animal’s movements for the previous
                 to trace and track cattle.
                                                             allocated 57 cattle to trace found that     30 days, and the current properties of
                 The Chairman of SAFEMEAT,                   they had had potential contact with         residence of contact animals during
                 Jack Ware recently stated that the          460,000 cattle over their lifetime.”        that period, must be established.
                 CowCatcher 2 exercise undertaken
                                                             The final report from CowCatcher 2          In addition, within 48 hours, that
                 by the Department of Agriculture,
                                                             makes 21 recommendations for                animal’s movements during its
                 Fisheries and Forestry was a success.
                                                             further improving the tracing system        life, and the current properties of
                                                             and these have been endorsed by             residence of all contact animals, must
                                                             SAFEMEAT.                                   be established.
                                                             This is the second traceability exercise    Mr Ware commented that the NLIS
                                                             for NLIS. The first CowCatcher              identified cattle were able to be
                                                             exercise took place in 2004 and used        promptly and reliably traced in both the
                                                             both the old tail tag system as well as     2004 and 2007 traceability exercise.
                                                             NLIS electronic tags.
                                                                                                         Cattle Council President Bill Bray
                                                             The majority of the cattle without          believes beef producers in all states
                                                             NLIS identification in 2004 were not        and territories – as well as the industry
                                                             traced within the time frame set by         as a whole – should be proud of the
                                                             the standards and some were not able        significant improvement in the nation’s
                                                             to be traced at all. This accounted         capacity to trace and track cattle.
                                                             for the 75 per cent overall traceback
                                                                                                         “We have a national traceability
                                                             result for Cowcatcher 1.
                                                                                                         system that is the envy of many of the
                                                             However, all of the cattle identified       world’s major beef producing nations,
                                                             with an NLIS tag were traced promptly       and the success of the progressive

                  Table	1:	National	Traceability	Performance	Standards	for	cattle
                  Applicable to all FMD susceptible livestock species
                  1.1     Within 24 hours of the relevant CVO* being notified, it must be possible to determine the location(s) where a
                          specified animal was resident during the previous 30 days.

                  1.2     Within 24 hours it must be also possible to determine the location(s) where all susceptible animals that resided
                          concurrently and/or subsequently on any of the properties on which a specified animal has resided in the last
                          30 days.

                  Applicable to cattle only
                  2.1     Within 48 hours of the relevant CVO being notified, it must be possible to establish the location(s) where a
                          specified animal has been resident during its life.

                  2.2     Within 48 hours of the relevant CVO being notified, it must be possible to establish a listing of all cattle that have
                          lived on the same property as the specified animal at any stage during those animals’ lives.

                  2.3     Within 48 hours of the relevant CVO being notified, it must also be possible to determine the current location
                          of all cattle that resided on the same property as the specified animal at any time during those animals’ lives.

                 * State or Territory Chief Veterinary Officer

           10	   feedback	–	August	2007
                                          Table	2:	Chronicle	of	traceability	in	Australia
                                          1960s     Property Identification Codes (PICs) to identify cattle properties
                                          1966      Vinyl or plastic wrap-around tail tags trialled in NSW
                                          1970      Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign (BTEC)
implementation of this system                       program begins
throughout the states is a credit to
our industry.”                            1975      Pink tags to identify cattle free from HGPs introduced
                                          1990      National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) introduced
                                          1999      European Union system developed – exclusive NVD linked to lime-
  Aaron Iori                                        green tags and supported by whole-of-life identification via RFID
  NLIS manager                                      technology
  Phone: 02 9463 9244
                                          1999      NLIS Database introduced in response to EU requirements
                                          2002      Victorian government mandates that all calves born after 1 January
  the final report on Cowcatcher 2,                 2002 must be recorded on NLIS
  which includes the recommendations
                                          2003      State Ministers agree to commence NLIS implementation in
  to further improve the system, is
                                                    southern Australia by 2004 and northern Australia by 2005
  available to download from the
  DAFF website at:          2005      90% of state government NLIS legislation introduced by 1 July 2005
                                          2006      Recording of cattle movements on NLIS mandatory in all states and
                                                    territories from 1 July 2006
                                          2007      Cowcatcher 2 cattle traceback exercise validates effectiveness of NLIS

   How CowCatcher 2 worked
     1    Animal health Australia (AhA) randomly selected 300 tags from a range of points in the production
          chain, including producers, lotfeeders, saleyards, abattoirs and live exporters. the allocation of tags
          was based on the average monthly transactions in each state during the past 12 months as a proportion
          of the total.

     2    tag numbers were issued to the relevant DPI project coordinator in each jurisdiction by 9am on the first
          day of the exercise. Each jurisdiction was requested to trace the animals associated to the tags as if in
          a disease situation.

     3    the jurisdictions used the ‘normal’ tracing protocols which would be used in a real life disease event.

     4    Using information from the NLIS database and supporting documentation, each disease control
          centres undertook the traceability exercise, tracing each tag against the National Livestock traceability
          Performance Standards.

     5    the exercise involved the identification and tracing of the 300 designated animals through the various
          production pathways from abattoirs, saleyards and properties back to property of birth and the
          identification of cohorts and their locations.

     6    Progress reports and final results of the exercise were submitted to the Disease Control Centre in

                                                                                       	             feedback	–	August	2007	   11

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