Live Export

Vets welcome preg testing protocol for export cattle

Beef Central, 01/09/2016

Pregnancy testing of breeding cattle bound for air or sea journeys of 10 days or more can only be carried out by a veterinarian who is an accredited tester under the Australian Cattle Veterinarians PREgCHECK scheme, under Australian Government requirements.

The requirements, clarified in a recently released export notice by the Australian Government, are aimed at minimising the risk of sending pregnant cattle overseas and therefore ensuring their welfare.

Pregnancy test on feeder and slaughter cattle to be transported by air can only be carried out by a registered veterinarian.

Also, authorised testers for feeder cattle in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, can only do so by manual palpation, and not by ultrasound.

The Australian Government’s Export Advisory Notice 2016-22 outlines the rules for pregnancy testing to meet the Australian Standard for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) requirement for unspayed female cattle for export must be tested prior to export (Click here to see the notice on the Department of Agriculture website).

ACV President Dr Craig Dwyer said PREgCHECK (formerly the National Cattle Pregnancy Diagnosis Scheme or NCPD) was the most robust pregnancy diagnosis assurance scheme in Australia.

“Accredited members have to demonstrate their ability to manually detect pregnancies down to 42 days, and accurately estimate gestational age,” he said.

“Accredited testers under the scheme have a unique registration number and are the only people authorised to use the scheme’s certification mark on cattle tail tags.

“These tags are well recognised in the industry and are used by producers to add value to sold livestock.”

PREgCHECK uses both rectal palpation and ultrasound to make an accurate diagnosis and predict calving date.

“This is not available with blood or milk pregnancy testing,” Dr Dwyer said.

“We’re also pleased to see that any pregnancy test on feeder and slaughter cattle to be transported by air can only be carried out by a registered veterinarian. Also, authorised testers for feeder cattle in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, can only do so by manual palpation, and not by ultrasound.

“The ACV has been lobbying to improve the accountability of pregnancy testing in live export and this is a strong positive step towards better animal welfare outcomes in the live export supply chain,” he said.

 

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Comments

  1. Paul Emerson, 16/08/2017

    ityUltrasound is the prefered method of testing in NZ. The vet industry were forced to change,due to loss of market share.Less invasive and accuracy were the main drivers,i have been in business for 22yrs and was self taught.I cannot understand the negativity towards ultrasound,or is it the vets protecting their back pockets.

  2. Eion John McAllister, 23/09/2016

    Manual palpation often causes an aborted feotus if the tested animal is in the early stages of pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if the tester is a vet or otherwise. Invasive testing has this risk factor. The tester may test an animal as dry and it may not be detectable yet be pregnant and slip the feotus as a direct result of the invasive procedure. I suppose it is then really empty and the tester either vet or otherwise is correct.

  3. Dan tafino, 09/09/2016

    Why are you not allowed to use ultrasound? from all research I have found ultrasound is a lot more accurate then manual and you can diagnose pregnancy so much earlier?

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