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21 December 2000
The MAF Enforcement Unit seized 1220 kilograms of uninspected meat on Monday in a raid on a Hamilton premise, after it had been alleged that meat was being processed there for illegal sale on the local market.
MAF Enforcement Unit Senior Investigator Brett Subritzky said that 45 pigs had been illegally processed into hams and pork products at the Hamilton premise, which could have posed a potential health hazard had it been sold to the public.
The 1220 kilograms of meat was destroyed.
The investigation is still ongoing and the Ministry will be looking to prosecute once all the evidence is gathered.
Meat inspection confirms whether meat is fit for human consumption. It is also important that New Zealand's reputation as a producer of safe meat is maintained. Meat which has not be produced by regulated businesses is not considered safe, and the more illegal meat is traded, the more New Zealand's good reputation is threatened.
Mr Subritzky said consumers needed to feel confident that the meat they purchased was properly inspected. He said farmers also needed to ensure that only listed homekill service providers were used when processing stock for their own consumption to avoid breaching the Animal Products Act.
Information relating to illegal meat sales and unlisted homekill operators can be reported to the MAF Enforcement Unit on 0800 104 070.
The sale of uninspected meat is illegal under the Animal Products Act 1999.
For further information contact Brett Subritzky, MAF Enforcement Unit Senior Investigator on 021 502 842