5 Oct 2010

Call for clampdown on backyard butchers

5:15 am on 5 October 2010

Rural butchers and abattoir operators are calling for a clampdown on backyard butchers.

Abattoir Association president Lyndon Everton believes that black-market meat trade is putting the country's $6.5 billion export industry at risk.

He says governing authorities should not allow any meat to be slaughtered outside a purpose-built processing facility.

Mr Everton is joining Federated Farmers Rural Butchers in calling for tougher regulations for butchers providing home-kill services and more policing of black-market operators.

Under the Animal Products Act home-kill is allowed, but the meat cannot be sold for public consumption.

To become a rural butcher, all you need to do is pay a $100 registration fee. Over the past 10 years the number of home-kill operators has risen from 79 to nearly 400.

Concerted effort sought

Federated Farmers Rural Butchers chair Mike Hansen says the registration process is far too easy, and he believes it has led to meat obtained from stock rustling turning up on the black market.

Mr Hansen says rural butchers would like to see a concerted effort by farmers, butchers, local authorities, police and the Food Safety Authority to stop the black-market trade.