National Residue Survey 2020–21 Kangaroo

​Publication details

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, September 2021


Document Pages File size
NRS 2020-21 Industry brochure: Kangaroo PDF PDF Icon 4 1.2 MB

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Online version

Key points

  • In 2020–21, the overall compliance with Australian standards was 100 percent for kangaroo.
  • Australian kangaroo producers continue to demonstrate high quality harvest and processing practice.
  • The National Residue Survey’s quality management system is ISO 9001:2015 certified.

The National Residue Survey (NRS) operates within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and since 1992 has been funded by industries through levies and direct contracts.

The NRS is an essential part of Australia’s pesticide and veterinary medicine residue management framework providing verification of good agricultural practice in support of chemical control-of-use legislation and guidelines.

NRS programs monitor the levels of, and associated risks from, pesticides and veterinary medicine residues and contaminants in Australian food products. The programs help to facilitate and encourage ongoing access to domestic and export markets. NRS supports Australia’s primary producers and food processors who provide quality animal, grain and horticulture products which meet both Australian and relevant international standards.

Kangaroo program overview

The kangaroo program has been operating since the early 1990s and is funded by the NRS component of the kangaroo transaction levies. The program involves the testing of Australian kangaroo tissue samples for a range of pesticides, veterinary medicines and environmental contaminants.

The program:

  • ensures kangaroo exports satisfy Australian export certification and importing country requirements
  • supports industry quality assurance initiatives, and
  • enables domestic meat processing facilities to satisfy state and territory government regulatory authority licensing requirements.

Sample collection

The number of samples collected is based on Australian production levels and/or overseas export market requirements.

Samples are collected by authorised government officers at processing establishments, from randomly selected carcases along the processing chain in accordance with NRS requirements.

Analytical screens

Analytical screens are developed in consultation with industry and take into account chemicals registered in Australia, chemical residue profiles and overseas market requirements.

Kangaroo samples are screened for a range of pesticides and environmental contaminants, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Analytical screens for the kangaroo program
Analytical screen Chemical group Analytes
Pesticides   Pesticides includes insecticides, fungicides and herbicides
Environmental contaminants   Organochlorines aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, DDT, endrin, HCB, HCH, heptachlor, lindane, mirex, PCBs and pentachlorobenzene
Metals antimony, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury


In 2020–21, a total of 50 kangaroo samples were collected and analysed. The results were compared with Australian standards and where appropriate relevant international standards.

A summary of kangaroo compliance with Australian standards over the past six years is provided in Table 2. The results highlight excellent compliance and help maintain the reputation and integrity of Australian kangaroo meat products in international and domestic markets.

The yearly summary datasets for the kangaroo program are located on the department’s website

Table 2. Compliance rates for the past six years relative to Australian standards
Years Samples collected Compliance rates (%)
2015–16 50 100
2016–17 50 98
2017–18 50 100
2018–19 50 100
2019–20 50 100
2020–21 50 100

Laboratory selection and performance

The NRS contracts laboratories to analyse animal and plant product samples for pesticide/veterinary medicine residues and environmental contaminants.

Laboratories are selected through the Australian Government tendering process on the basis of their proficiency and value for money. Laboratories must be accredited to international standard ISO/IEC 17025 at commencement of testing.

Contracted laboratories are proficiency tested by the NRS to ensure the validity of their analytical results and technical competence.

The NRS has been accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities as a proficiency test provider since July 2005.

International export markets

The NRS maintains information on maximum residue limits (MRLs) that apply for Australia and major export markets for industries supported by the NRS. All analysis results are checked for compliance with Australian standards and relevant international MRLs.

For the Australian MRL standard see

For MRL requirements for some international export markets see links at

Last reviewed: 14 September 2021
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