Final Report of an Audit Conducted In Four European Union Member States February 3rd Through February 21st, 2014
Evaluating The Food Safety Systems Governing The Production of  Beef And Beef Products For Export To Canada

6. Slaughter/Processing Controls

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The CFIA auditors reviewed Slaughter/Processing Controls, which included ante-mortem inspection procedures, ante-mortem disposition, humane handling and humane slaughter, post-mortem inspection procedures, post-mortem disposition and handling and disposal of inedible and condemned material (note this excludes the restricted SRM products which are covered in the BSE/SRM controls section).

The requirements for humane handling and humane slaughter procedures are laid down in Regulation (EC) no 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing.

The requirements for ante-mortem and post mortem inspection procedures and disposition are mainly laid down in Regulation of EC 852/2004, Regulation of EC 853/2004 and Regulation of EC 854/2004. Regarding the handling and disposal of inedible and condemned material additional requirements are described in Regulation of EC No 1774/2002.

The review of applicable legislation and procedures indicated that EU MSs generally continue to maintain equivalency with respect to most of the above stated controls. However, the following deficiencies were noted:

  • Issues related to the performance of post-mortem inspection by the officials of the CAs were noted in 3 out of 4 MS. In one particular country, the post mortem inspection performed on 6-8 months old calves did not comply with requirements described in Chapter I of section IV of Annex I on Fresh meat of Regulation (EC) no 854/2004. The inspection procedure relied only on a visual inspection of the organs/carcass and one incision of the heart. It was explained that such modification to the normal inspection procedures is permitted where a production system is fully integrated and the CCA has approved the risk assessment and rationale submitted by the operator. The CFIA auditors requested these documents to the CCA but these have not yet been provided.
  • Issues related to humane handling and slaughter of food animals presented for slaughter were noted in 2 MSs. For example, the use of restraining equipment rotating live animals for ritual slaughter of bovines is authorized in the establishments. Such equipment is not permitted to be used in Canada because it may subject the animal to avoidable distress or pain. In one particular establishment, the situation was even more complex because such equipment was also used for non-ritual slaughter contravening the intent of EU legislation laid down in Regulation (EC) no 1099/2009.
  • Other MSs specific issues related to Slaughter/Processing Controls are described in the MSs annexes.
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