Abattoir, knackery and saleyard workers

Abattoirs, knackeries and saleyards are on the front line of our efforts to keep NSW free from the impacts of emergency animal disease.

The large number of animals passing through an abattoir, knackery or saleyard means an emergency animal disease outbreak may be first detected in these facilities and workers play a crucial part in early identification and reporting.
Being biosecure will help:

  • Provide NSW businesses good access to premium markets around the globe
  • Maintain industries that use saleyards, abattoirs and knackeries
  • Ensure we can provide locally-grown, safe food to the people of NSW
  • Prevent zoonotic diseases from spreading to people.

Everyday abattoir, knackery or saleyard practices are all part of being biosecure. This includes:

  • Monitoring for signs and symptoms of animal disease
  • Participating in the National Livestock Identification System, traceability and market assurance programs
  • Having the right licences, registrations and permits
  • Preventing the spread of disease by maintaining good hygiene at saleyards and processing facilities
  • Educating staff and visitors on the importance of biosecurity and how to spot and report diseases
  • Having an emergency disease action plan.

NSW Department of Primary Industries and partners including Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Animal Health Australia, Australian Meat Processor Corporation and Meat and Livestock Australia have developed a number of training resources for the abattoir, knackery and saleyard industries. They are free and aim to build the skills and knowledge of workers who may be amongst the first to detect emergency animal disease.

Visit our training and education page to access the training materials.

There are certain actions a business MUST legally take in order to be biosecure. These are detailed in the Biosecurity Act 2015 and supporting legislation.

The laws cover things that are likely to have the biggest impact on our economy, environment or community. They include rules around:

  • High risk and priority pests and diseases that MUST be reported - these are known as ‘notifiable pests and diseases’, ‘prohibited matter’ and ‘biosecurity events’
  • Having the right accreditation, registrations, certificates and permits

Visit the Biosecurity policies and procedures page for more.

As well as prescribing the rules for high risk biosecurity matter, the Biosecurity Act 2015 includes a biosecurity duty for abattoirs, knackeries and saleyards, and everyone who deals with biosecurity matter.

This means that all tiers of government, industry and the people of NSW need to work together to protect the economy, environment and community from the negative impacts of pests, diseases,  and weeds and contaminants.

This means businesses need to:

  • know about your biosecurity risks
  • know what action should be taken to manage these risks
  • take effective action to manage the risks relevant to you.

Visit our Training for abattoir, knackery and saleyard workers webpage for training resources.

Visit the General biosecurity duty page for more information.

The trick to managing biosecurity is that every facility and operation will have different challenges and risks to manage based on its location, seasonal conditions, activities, and the animals that are being produced and processed.

A biosecurity plan can help you to identify the risks relevant to your facility and prioritise the actions to manage them.

Visit the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC) website for an Emergency Animal Disease Response plan template and online training modules.

Visit our Training for abattoir, knackery and saleyard workers webpage for training resources.