Stronger legislation needs to be put in place to ensure sheep chemical labels provide more accurate information about their efficacy.
According to WAMMCO Chief Executive Office Des Griffiths, it should be made mandatory for chemical companies to provide export Slaughter Interval (ESI) on their container labels.
He said sheep treated with chemicals for problems such as worms and lice - and even sheep grazing pastures sprayed with chemicals - are required to be withheld for a certain amount of time before export and human consumption, depending on the chemical.
He said that there were often significant differences between Australia's required holding periods and those of the importing countries, which was why ESI's were so important.
Not following another countries ESI requirements could cause them to reject Australian sheep, so ESI information should be on all chemical labels.
Mr Griffiths said WAMMCO was receiving an increasing number of National Vendor Declarations forms that did not meet the specified ESI.
"Producers need to be aware of the ESI requirments and, from an industry point of view, we need legislatory backup."
The current system works on a voluntary basis, with ESI and withholding period information placed on a website run by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
Producers can access the website at ww.apvma.gov.au
The argumanet from chemical companies is that ESI information may not apply to every customer using their chemical and may be outdated, leaving them open to liabilities.
APVMA chemical and residue program manager Trevor Doust said it was important that chemical users were getting the correct information. He said the system was of paramount importance given that chemical companies did not provide the information on their labels.
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