Australian meat safety

Australian meat safety

The Australian red meat and livestock industry has a long-term commitment to lifetime traceability, food integrity and consistent quality. Australia is also internationally recognised as being free of all major epidemic livestock diseases.

Australia’s reputation for producing clean and safe red meat products is a major factor underpinning our exporting success. In order to ensure the quality and integrity of our beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat – and protect this valuable reputation – Australia has developed a series of integrated quality assurance programs that reinforce the industry's commitment to safety and integrity.

With many countries demanding full traceability from paddock to plate, these programs are essential to ensure continued market access and further growth in demand for Australia's red meat products.

Read more about the Australian safety programs


To ensure lifetime traceability of livestock, Australian farmers use the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).

This mandatory system is critical to the safety and quality of Australian red meat, reflecting the nation's commitment to biosecurity and provides a competitive advantage in a global market.

A ‘whole of life’ electronic tag is placed on individual cattle and sheep flocks, which uses radio frequency technology to record animal movements. This information is transferred to a central database, allowing the tracing of livestock from farm to the point of processing.

NLIS is endorsed by major producer, feedlot, agent, saleyard and processor bodies and also acknowledged by government legislation, which forms the regulatory framework for the system.

Read more about the NLIS system
No added hormones

No added hormones

For almost three decades, the EU has only allowed imports of beef with no added hormones. Australian farmers respected EU customer requirements by supplying fully traceable, safe and high quality red meat.

The Australian beef sector has invested in dedicated supply chains to meet EU’s requirements for high quality imported beef. Only 5% of all Australian cattle properties are accredited to supply cattle to the EU market.  

The European Union Cattle Accreditation Scheme (EUCAS) is Australia’s dedicated traceability program specifically for the EU market.

EUCAS allows Australia to meet EU market requirements for beef by segregating parts of the cattle herd that have never been treated with hormonal growth promotants (HGPs) at any time.

All beef destined for the EU is sourced from EU accredited supply chains, including producers, feedlots and processing plants.

Read more about EUCAS here