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Public safety enhanced by proposed hunting control


Public safety enhanced by proposed hunting controls

Public safety would be enhanced and processor confidence restored by increased controls on the procurement, supply and processing of game, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority says.

The NZFSA today released a discussion document on “Proposed Enhancements to the Procurement, Supply and Processing of Game”. The document is open for public submissions until October 31.

“Its important for the safety of New Zealanders and countries that receive our game exports that all wild meat procured in New Zealand is free of residues that could harm consumers. That’s the bottom line,” Dr Susan Morris acting Programme Manager, Residues said.

The paper was initiated after a review of the National Chemical Residue Programme and alleged illegal hunting.

The enhancements in the discussion document include increased testing of commercial hunters. Hunters would be required to pass a test related to hunting pesticide-free game to become a certified supplier and would then be re-tested every two years. That way commercial hunters would always be up to date with changes to the rules and regulations. They would also have to prove that they are a bona fide certified supplier. Certified suppliers may only provide wild game to processors that are licensed under the Meat Act or registered under the Animal Products Act.

Commercial hunters would also have to provide processors with an operations manual and a statement that all requirements for hunting pesticide-free game had been met. Failure to comply with any of these regulations would mean removal or suspension from the National Game Register of Certified Suppliers. The proposed new requirements would come into effect from 1 January 2003.

Dr Morris said random testing of game for chemical residues would also be increased.

While the discussion document focuses specifically on commercial hunting, food safety issues are also a concern for recreational hunters.

“We are not ignoring recreational hunters. We have recently put together an information sheet for recreational hunters advising of the need to obtain detailed information about the area they are hunting in. That has been widely distributed and is available free on our website. We urge recreational hunters to read it before heading out to hunt,” Dr Morris said.

The submissions on the discussion paper will be analysed and a summary produced before any changes are made to legislation. A copy of the discussion paper is available on the NZFSA website http:// http://www.nzfsa.govt.nz/policy-law/consultation/04-02/

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