1 May 2012

Crackdown wanted on illegal stock slaughter and sale

10:57 pm on 1 May 2012

Federated Farmers' Rural Butchers group is stepping up its opposition to the slaughter and sale of illegally home-killed meat.

The group is part of the Unregulated Meat Working Group led by the Ministry for Primary Industries, which includes the Meat Industry Association and the Abattoirs Association.

Rural Butchers chairman Mike Hanson says as the price of meat has spiked, so has stock rustling - leading to an increase in uninspected meat being sold on the black market.

Mr Hanson says his group aims to identify the extent of the trade and demand tougher penalties for people who sell illegally home-killed meat.

The Unregulated Meat Working Group will meet with the Food Safety Authority in Wellington in a fortnight.

The Abattoirs Association has also raised concerns, saying the reputation of the entire meat industry is put at risk by the sale of illegally-processed meat.

The association says home-kill is a way of life for New Zealand farmers who employ licensed operators to slaughter and process animals for their consumption. That ensures strict animal welfare and food safety codes are followed.

However, it says if the consumption of unlicensed home-killed meat leads to illness or death, the whole industry will be tainted by association.

It is urging all consumers to be sure of where their meat comes from.