Element 1: Identification and Lifetime Traceability
Element 1 is a compulsory component of PCAS that allows producers to support claims that their cattle are lifetime pasturefed. To comply with this element producers’ need to be able to demonstrate that the PCAS eligible cattle are fully traceable throughout their entire lifetime and that they are individually identifiable.
PCAS requires that all cattle are able to be individually identified, and this identification has to be positive and unique. Many producers will already comply with this requirement through having an identification system in place, either with the use of NLIS or an eartag management system.
The preferred method of identification and traceability is for producers to fit their cattle with approved NLIS devices at weaning. If producers do not comply with this, i.e. they insert NLIS devices after weaning, then they need to have an alternate system of individual identification in place. This alternate process of identification will be acceptable provided that it enables individual identification of cattle and it has been approved by PCAS Administration.
An example of an alternate method of individual identification is using uniquely numbered and coloured management tags and with the information being recorded.
The general rule for PCAS is that eligible cattle must have been on a Certified Pasturefed property since birth and the only exception is in relation to Vendor Bred cattle (as defined under the PCAS Standards). Other than Vendor Bred cattle, introduced cattle can only be deemed PCAS eligible if they come from another Certified Property and they must be accompanied with a PCAS Vendor Declaration.
Vendor Bred Cattle Exemption
Cattle that are born on a non-certified property can be deemed PCAS eligible provided that they satifiy the Standards definition of ‘Vendor Bred Cattle’ and a that a completed Non-Certified Supplier Declaration is provided.
Under PCAS a Vendor Bred cattle are defined as cattle whose first sale is onto a Certified Pasturefed PIC or a property prior to Certification, is less than 18 months old and has been raised in a manner that is consistent with the PCAS Standards from birth to sale.
The important elements of the definition are that the purchased cattle are less than 18 months old and that the purchase is being made from the breeder. The completion of the Non-Certified Supplier Declaration is the guarantee from the breeder that the animals have been raised in a manner that is consistent with PCAS.