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Chemical residues

Chemicals applied to crops, animals, water or soil leave residues which break down over time. 

Local Land Services are among the industry and government bodies playing a role in a number of programs aimed at managing chemical residues in animals and soil.

Common residues

Common residues include:

  • banned organochlorines that are persistent in soils
  • antibiotics and drenches
  • pesticides and external parasite products
  • heavy metals such as lead or cadmium
  • other agricultural chemicals.

Keeping residues out of the food chain

Local Land Services animal health staff play an ongoing role in surveillance, certification and education to ensure these and other residues stay out of the food chain by:

  • carrying out on-farm investigations to identify sources of residues
  • working with landholders to either eliminate the source of the residue or mitigate its effects
  • investigating residue detections reported from abattoirs
  • using tracing systems such as NLIS to identify the source of a contamination

District vets and biosecurity officers have played a key role in the successful National Organochlorine Residue Management program (NORM) during the last decade.

They also work with national programs such as Livestock Production Assurance (LPA), which are in place to pick up any traces of residues at slaughter to assure markets that Australian products are residue free.

Getting advice on residues

Local Land Services staff can carry out chemical residue history checks on certain Property Identification Codes (PICs), for example to aid in LPA certification or property transfers.

They also provide advice on residue-related animal health issues such as lead poisoning.

If you are concerned about a possible chemical residue contamination problem on your land you should contact your local office for advice.


Certification that livestock are free of disease and residues is essential for continued and competitive access to domestic and international livestock markets.

Local Land Services carry out certification for properties and stock within their region. 

Types of certification include:

  • providing information as part of property searches
  • export certification
  • certification to allow for interstate movement of stock.

To find out about animal health or residue certification for stock or a property, or for information about fees associated with certification, contact your Local Land Services office.

More information

Read more about chemical residues and ways of minimising their risk.

NSW Department of Primary Industries 

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (