What is liver testing?

While it has been shown that 20-30% of farms in NZ are deficient in at least one of the three main trace elements (copper, cobalt and selenium), only a small percentage of farmers are testing regularly. There are three testing methods for trace elements:

  • Blood testing
  • Liver biopsy (removing a piece of liver from a live animal)
  • Liver sampling after slaughter at the meatworks

We operate a simple, and reliable liver trace element testing service, which has been accepted by all meat companies except Alliance.

How it works

  • Liver samples are taken from animals slaughtered at the meatworks.
  • To request collection of samples, attach a special green sticker to the Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form which accompanies your stock to the meat works.
  • Liver testing stickers are available from your Agri Manager or by calling our Customer Centre.
  • Write your Ravensdown customer number and veterinarian’s (or vet practice) name on the sticker. No separate laboratory submission form is required.
  • You must nominate a veterinarian to interpret the results and make recommendations, your vet will likely charge you for this service.
  • Ravensdown will invoice you for sample collection and laboratory fees.

Sampling process

Five liver samples (or less if fewer animals are sent) are collected by AsureQuality NZ (meat inspecting service) and sent to Gribbles Laboratories, who will perform a standard set of tests, ie copper, cobalt and selenium for sheep; copper and selenium for cattle and deer.

The results are sent directly from the laboratory to your nominated veterinarian or veterinary practice, who will then interpret the results and make recommendations back to you directly.

The results are also supplied to Ravensdown and will be entered into our database.

Please Note: The Alliance meatworks do not take part in our liver testing service; they will only collect liver samples if one of their own ‘OptiHealth’ submission forms is used.