MAF withdraws wild venison meat products after poaching allegations

16 April 2002

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) has required wild venison meat to be withdrawn from the market following allegations of illegal deer hunting. Export certification for the product concerned has also been withdrawn.

This action follows police charges against hunters who are accused of poaching deer.

Dr Tony Zohrab, Director Animal Products, says that MAF's standards rely on hunter declarations as a means of ensuring that wild deer are not taken from areas that may have been subject to animal pest control operations.

"It is important to be certain that feral deer are not taken from areas that have been subject to pest control agents."

"MAF has taken this precautionary measure as there is now some question as to the reliability of the declarations supplied by those accused of poaching."

Dr Tony Zohrab says that the withdrawn product will remain under MAF detention pending the results of analytical testing.

Farmed venison, the vast majority of New Zealand's venison production, is not implicated in this product withdrawal.

"It should also be noted that the venison processors are not implicated in any illegal activity," says Dr Zohrab.

"In the meantime, MAF reiterates that any hunter supplying feral deer for processing must ensure that the hunter declaration has been completed appropriately." says Dr Zohrab.


For more information contact Tony Zohrab:
MAF Food Assurance Authority, Tel. 04-474-4179 or 021-673423, or Chris Morrison, MAF Communications, Tel. 04-498-9806 or 021-852-559.



Last Updated: 06 October 2010

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