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National Vendor Declarations For Livestock

27 October 1999 PR114/99


New Zealand Meat and Fibre Producers (formerly Federated Farmers Meat and Wool Section) is cautioning all meat producers that from 1 December 1999, all cattle and deer consigned for slaughter at licensed processing plants must be accompanied by a declaration provided by the consignor.

From 1 October 2000, the scheme will be extended to include sheep, goats, pigs and horses.

The declaration will specify animal status in relation to growth promotants, veterinary medicines, animal remedies and Johne's vaccination. The declarations are designed to fulfill New Zealand's food safety obligations to international trading partners.

Many processing companies are developing declarations in conjunction with on-farm quality assurance programmes. These are likely to incorporate Tb declarations (required by the Animal Health Board) and will, in most cases, not result in farmers needing to complete separate forms.

Where declaration forms are not available to farmers through quality assurance programs, they will be easily obtained from a variety of outlets such as Livestock Agents, MAF Offices and by electronic means.

"While there has been criticism of the system, which will allow processing companies to develop their own declaration forms, this has provided a much more commercial approach to satisfying the requirements," says New Zealand Meat and Fibre Producers (formerly Meat and Wool Section) Chairman, Chris Lester.

"Minimum requirements have been stipulated, and the industry development group supported the principle of allowing the companies to develop systems that they consider most suitable to their circumstances. We thought it important that processors and their suppliers were encouraged to develop mutually acceptable formats."

"This method also solves the issue of funding, which could have proved a formidable barrier."

"The first hurdle is to communicate the requirement for these declarations to farmers by the deadline of 1 December."

ENDS For further information: Chris Lester 07 895 4455 or 025 978424 Maxine Yule 04 4737269

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