Meat Notice 2018-06 - Goat Targeted Antibacterial Residue Testing (GTART) and Horse Targeted Antibacterial Residue Testing Program (HTART) – Antibacterial Confirmatory Testing for Suspect Goats and Horses

​​​NSFS reference: 13

Issue date: 27/11/2018​​

Date of effect: Immediate

Review date: November 2020

Contact officers:

Dugald MacLachlan
Director Residues and Microbiology Policy
02 6272 3183

Mac Tawadros
A/g Assistant Director – Operational Integrity
02 8334 7568

Distribution categories

  • Central and regional office
  • Department on-plant officer(s)
  • Managers, export meat establishments
  • State/Territory regulatory authorities


To manage the risk of antibacterial residues that exceed the relevant standards in goats and horses slaughtered at export abattoirs. This notice consolidates advice to industry and department staff regarding the collection of samples for testing of goats and horses targeted for compliance to ensure correct withholding periods following antibacterial treatment.

The program serves the additional purpose of gathering evidence for industry and regulators that the use of antibacterial drugs comply with the necessary withholding period regulations.


This notice applies to all establishments slaughtering goats and/or horses for export.


The following table defines terms used in this notice.

Approved Arrangement (AA)An arrangement approved under the Export Control Act and its subordinate legislation. 
Australia and New Zealand Food Standards CodeMeans the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Codeas defined in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act1991 of the Commonwealth.
This code contains information on composition, labelling and contaminants, including microbiological limits that apply to all foods produced or imported for sale in Australia and New Zealand.
Area Technical Manager (ATM)A departmental officer with veterinary qualifications who has responsibility for the supervision, technical performance, assessment and verification of technical standards and operations in a defined group of export meat establishments within a geographic area in a state or states
Horse Vendor Declaration (HVD)An accountable form completed by the vendor describing details of a consignment of horses.
Maximum Residue Limit (MRL)The maximum level of a chemical residue permitted in foodstuffs for human consumption.
National Vendor DeclarationNational accountable form completed by the vendor describing details of a consignment of livestock. 
National Residue Survey (NRS)Monitors residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals and environmental contaminants in Australian food commodities.
On Plant Veterinarian (OPV)An authorised officer (veterinarian) employed by the government to provide daily supervision of ante- and post-mortem inspection and verification of the establishment’s approved arrangement.

Roles and responsibilities

Establishment management
  • Amend the approved arrangement to include requirements for the GTART and/ or HTART program as per this meat notice. 
  • Notify the On-Plant Veterinarian (OPV) of goats and/or horses identified by the NVD/HVD as receiving antibacterial treatment. This includes all goats and/or horses for which the vendor has answered “Yes” to the administrations of antimicrobial treatments to these animals on the NVD/HVD.          
  • Exclude from export, carcasses, carcass parts and offal from goats and/or horses tested and found to contain residues above the relevant importing country MRL.
  • Exclude from human consumption carcasses, carcass parts and offal of goats and/or horses found to contain residues above the Australian MRL.
On-Plant Veterinarian
  • Provide establishment management with a copy of this meat notice as soon as possible.       
  • Collect and despatch kidney samples from goats and/or horses suspected to have been recently treated with antibiotics.     
  • Collect and despatch kidney samples from goats and/or horses that have been accompanied by an NVD/HVD showing that they have been treated with antibiotics.
  • Forward all laboratory results to the establishment management.
Area Technical Manager
  • Approve amendments to the approved arrangement
  • Verify that all relevant establishments under your administration have implemented this meat notice

Sampling requirements

The following provides guidance on the organs required to be collected under the program, storing and dispatching of the sampled organs for testing.

  • Kidney is the organ required for testing.
  • As the program is a “Test and Hold” activity, targeted goats and horses can be held as a carcass or boned under departmental supervision with all meat products being retained until the test results become available. No meat product from any other carcass may be placed in the same carton, irrespective if it is from another targeted animal awaiting test results.
  • NRS sampling consumables (bags, security satchels, boxes, etc.) should be used with the sample record and dispatching through the On-Demand facility of the IMS.
  • Samples are to be collected and stored according to the standard NRS Sample collection and dispatch manual with frozen samples being dispatched to the laboratory as soon as practicable.
  • Use the On-Demand facility in the NRS IMS to record and dispatch samples.

    Contact NRS Operations for assistance 1800 420 919.
  • All kidney samples are to be submitted to a department approved laboratory, as currently listed “Approved Laboratory list June 2018” at Appendix 1.0.

Note: NRS will cover the cost of freighting tissue samples and analysis costs for samples submitted by OPV’s under the GTART & HTART Program.

Reporting requirements


Laboratories are required to report results according to contractual arrangements to NRS.


  • Notify abattoir management of the final disposition of the carcass, carcass parts and offal based on the laboratory test result and the MRL for the intended market(s).
  • In consultation with the ATM notify the relevant State/Territory authorities responsible for domestic meat inspection of laboratory results and final carcass disposition where the targeted animal carcass is released to the domestic market. (See Final Carcass Disposition for details).


  • NRS will report all goats and horses laboratory results to the relevant State/Territory Residue Coordinator and to Export Meat Program central office.

Final carcass disposition

  • Each animal is to be tested on a ‘test and hold’ basis.
  • The targeted goat and/or horse carcasses are to be processed or condemned based on the laboratory results and MRL’s for the nominated destination for carcass, carcass parts and / or offal. Departmental on-plant staff will supervise the disposal of all condemned carcasses.
  • If the laboratory result is greater than the Australian MRL then the carcass, carcass parts and offal are excluded from human consumption.
  • If the laboratory result is greater than the MRL of the proposed importing country but less than the Australian MRL, then the carcass may be released to the domestic market. The department will notify the relevant State/Territory regulatory authority of the laboratory test outcome and the final carcass disposition.
  • If the laboratory result is less than the MRL of the proposed importing country and the Australian MRL, then the carcass may be released to commerce.

Angela Davies
Export Meat Program

Appendix 1 - Approved laboratory list June 2018

Only the laboratory listed below is used for TART, START and PTART, GTART and HTART testing. This laboratory is NATA accredited and has been approved by Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for testing.
Chemical Residue Laboratory
QLD Department of Agriculture, Fisheries
Contact: Cindy Giles 07 3708 8802
Health and Food Sciences Precinct Block 12, 39 Kessels Road COOPERS PLAINS QLD 4108
Fax (07) 3708 8700

Appendix 2 - Targeted animals may include

Goats and Horses

  • identified by the HVD/NVD as treated with antibacterials
  • suspected of being recently treated with antibacterials
  • with blue dye in the udder
  • known or suspected to have been in the hospital section of a feedlot
  • Condemned animals that would have progressed through the human food chain, this includes both animals condemned at ante-mortem as well as on the slaughter floor during post mortem inspection.

Goats and Horses exhibiting signs of:

  • Endocarditis
  • Injection sites
  • Injury or inflammatory conditions
  • Mastitis
  • Metritis
  • Pericarditis
  • Peritonitis
  • Pleuritis
  • Pneumonia
  • Septicaemia, pyaemia or generalised disease.

OPVs must use their professional judgement to determine whether goats and horses may contain antibacterial residues and collect and submit samples from suspect goats and horses in accordance with this notice.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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