With many parts of Australia in drought, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has been getting a significant number of enquiries about importing processed plant-based stock feed, whole grain and hay.
Imported stock feed is a high biosecurity risk because it provides a direct pathway for the introduction and spread of exotic pests and diseases that can harm humans, animals, crops and the environment.
Australia has a long-established policy in place to manage the biosecurity risks associated with grain imported for stock feed, to safeguard our industries and environment.
The department assesses each stock feed import application against this policy. It applies the policy’s strict assessment, monitoring and control requirements to manage the biosecurity risks, only permitting the import if it is confident the risks can be managed.
Australia permits imports of plant-based stock feed processed offshore, applying strict import conditions based on the country of origin, nature of the crop, field production method, harvest method and post-processing handling, and other factors.
Imported whole grains are also permitted under strict import conditions. The grains must be processed in a department approved manner in the metropolitan area of the port of entry, to ensure that any biosecurity concerns are addressed before being distributed.
Hay for stock feed use has never been imported into Australia due to the risk of introducing plant and animal pathogens, viable crop seed, insect pests and weeds.
Sourcing stock feed domestically poses a lower risk of introducing an exotic pests or diseases, but movement may be subject to interstate regulations. The state or territory DPI can provide advice on sourcing local stock feed alternatives and any quarantine entry conditions.
For more information on the biosecurity risks and application process for importing grain for stock feed.