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Quality Assurance pig rules welcomed

The move by the NSW Food Authority to require all pigs sent to NSW domestic abattoirs be accompanied by a valid National Vendor Declaration (NVD) as from June 30, 2007, has been welcomed by Australian Pork Limited (APL).

The authority has stated that for an NVD to be considered valid under the Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transport of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption, animals must be sourced from a facility that has been accredited under a recognised on-farm quality assurance (QA) programme, being either PigPass QA or Australian Pork Industry Quality (APIQ).

SAFEMEAT, the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) and the NSW Meat Industry Consultative Committee also supported the announcement.

CEO of APL, Andrew Spencer, said processors were now generally requiring pigs destined for export to be accompanied by an NVD, linked to an approved farm QA programme, as part of their approved arrangements for Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) certification.

"The announcement by the NSW Food Authority is also timely given APL's recent review of the PigPass NVD and its proposed review of the APIQ Programme. These reviews canvass industry advice on how the programmes can be more readily adopted by all producers, both large and small."

"However, in the long term the industry cannot continue to operate on two levels, having one standard for export product and another for domestic," he said.
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