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Queensland Ruminant Feed Ban Surveillance Program

The Queensland Ruminant Feed Ban Surveillance Program (QRFBSP) is a surveillance program (biosecurity program) authorised under the Biosecurity Act 2014 (the Act) to monitor compliance with the ruminant feed ban.

Purpose of the QRFBSP

The purpose of the QRFBSP is to monitor compliance with the provisions of the Act relating to:

Where the QRFBSP applies

The QRFBSP applies to places, other than residences, in Queensland where:

  • a person renders, manufacturers, sells, supplies or stores feed or feed ingredients
  • or
  • ruminants are kept or reasonably believed to be kept.

Start and duration of the QRFBSP

The QRFBSP started on 1 October 2016 and is ongoing.

Why we monitor the ruminant feed ban

Since 1997, Australia has had a ruminant feed ban to:

Infectious proteins called prions cause TSEs, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as 'mad cow disease') in cattle, and scrapie in sheep.

Restricted animal material (RAM) may contain prions and feeding RAM to ruminants can spread TSEs.

Australia is free of BSE and scrapie. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has designated Australia as having a negligible BSE risk status (the lowest risk).

Australia's negligible BSE risk status provides considerable trade advantages. These advantages are subject to the OIE and our trading partners remaining confident that we have measures in place to minimise the risk of the introduction, establishment and spread of TSEs, particularly BSE.

How we apply and monitor the ruminant feed ban

The Biosecurity Act 2014 and Biosecurity Regulation 2016 apply the ruminant feed ban in Queensland by:

  • prohibiting the feeding or supplying of RAM to ruminants
  • requiring animal feed to be labelled with a RAM statement.

The QRFBSP gives Biosecurity Queensland officers the authority to monitor compliance in Queensland. The program includes regular inspections of renderers, stock feed manufacturers, retailers, and owners. By ensuring that the ruminant feed ban is in place, the QRFBSP helps to protect public health, animal health and the interests of trade.

Key activities of the QRFBSP

The key activities undertaken during the QRFBSP include:

  • establishing the level of awareness of the RFB requirements
  • examining RAM statements on bagged and bulk feed, invoices and delivery dockets
  • examining manufacturing and formulation records
  • examining the storage and transport of feed and feed ingredients
  • establishing how feeds are stored and used
  • establishing whether feeds sold, supplied or fed to ruminants contain RAM, including whether they may be contaminated with RAM
  • sampling feed and testing for the presence of RAM.

Powers of authorised officers under the QRFBSP

The QRFBSP provides powers for authorised officers to enter premises at reasonable times for the purpose of the QRFBSP. An authorised officer must make a reasonable attempt to obtain the occupier's consent before entering. Nevertheless, an authorised officer may enter the place if:

  • the officer is unable to locate an occupier after making a reasonable attempt to do so
  • or
  • the occupier refuses to consent to the entry.

An authorised officer may take any action authorised by the QRFBSP; however, nothing in the QFBSP limits the powers of authorised officers under Chapter 10 of the Act.

More information about what an authorised officer may do to monitor compliance is available in the QRFBSP.

Your obligations under the QRFBSP

You may need to give the authorised officer reasonable help to monitor your compliance with the prohibitions on feeding or supplying RAM, and the requirements relating to RAM statements for feed. This includes providing:

  • access to an area, or to the equipment used for the rendering, manufacture, sale, supply, storage or transport of feed or a feed ingredient
  • access to areas in which feed is stored and ruminants are fed and kept
  • safe access to feed to enable examination and/or sampling. This may include moving palates of bagged feed, opening containers of feed, or providing access to bulk feed or feed being manufactured
  • access to hard copy or electronic documentation, or provide information about the rendering, manufacture, sale, supply, storage or transport of feed or an feed ingredient.

Get a copy of the QRFBSP

Download the Queensland Ruminant Feed Ban Surveillance Program or request a free copy by contacting our Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.

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