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10 June 1999
Farmers treating stock with unlicensed animal remedies risk possible criminal prosecution and financial loss by having carcasses condemned when submitting them for slaughter.
Under the Meat Residues Regulations (1996) it is an offence to submit animals for slaughter which have been treated with an unlicensed animal remedy.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is alarmed at recent incidents of large numbers of stock being presented at meat processing plants with injection site lesions. MAF warns farmers that such occurrences are fully investigated with a view to prosecution.
Farmers who find themselves unwittingly in charge of stock, which have been treated with unlicensed remedies should contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry immediately. The legislation does provide for various mechanisms for approvals and exemptions which apply to submission of such animals for slaughter. If available, the Ministry will be able to advise which mechanism is suitable. This will be dependent on the circumstances of the individual case.
Under the Animal Remedies Act, the Animal Remedies Board is responsible for ensuring that animal remedies used in New Zealand are safe to the target species, users, consumers and the environment. Product applications are assessed to ensure the animal remedy will work and is suitably formulated and properly labelled.
The statutory licensing of animal remedies in New Zealand provides the assurance for both the domestic and export market that products meet acceptable standards following their manufacture, importation or distribution for sale.
Any product, which is not licensed, does not offer such protection and is of concern both from an animal welfare perspective and a residue perspective.
Farmers who are offered products and animal treatments are urged to inquire as to the licensing status of the product. Labels are a good starting point as a licensed product will always be indicated.
Failure to check if a product is licensed may in the worst case scenario result in a financial loss (due to condemnation at slaughter) and criminal prosecution.
Media inquiries to:
Jacqui Pate, Investigating Solicitor, MAF Regulatory Enforcement Unit (09) 357 1058
Debbie Morris, Project Manager, Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Medicines group, MAF (04) 474 4141