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Animal product processors given more time

Animal product processors given more time to comply with new legislation

Animal product companies have been given more time to comply with new legislation following the introduction of the Animal Products Amendment Act this week.

The Act, which came into force yesterday, extends the transition period for companies moving from the Meat Act 1981 to the Animal Products Act, a requirement of which is for animal product processors to establish risk management plans (RMPs).

Risk management plans place the responsibility for food safety on the food producers. Extending the transition period spreads the costs of developing risk management programmes and allows time for the market to set up services associated with risk management programme development, evaluation and verification.

The transition time to the Animal Products Act will now be extended during a phase-in period from July 2003 to July 2006. It had previously been November 2002.

The first companies required to have risk management plans in place are red meat processors, export seafood processors and meat or game packing houses. They have until July 2003 to produce their plans. Others processors will be phased in over the next three years until 2006.

The amendments to the Act should encourage and support the animal products processing industry to produce risk management programmes and move through to a risk management based future, NZFSA said.

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