Vets urge poultry exporters to be aware of new controls
Food firms exporting poultry products are being faced with new additional controls, veterinary surgeons have warned.
The new controls come after government restrictions to tackle an outbreak of bird flu were extended in a bid to protect the food chain.
Now AmiVet Exports – official veterinary surgeons who specialise in certifying animal-based food products as safe for export – say farmers and food producers need to ensure they are up-to-date with the current legislation.
Andrew Iveson, director at AmiVet Exports, said: “The whole of Great Britain has been declared a ‘prevention zone’ until the end of April 2017, by DEFRA – extra biosecurity measures are in place which vary depending on the area. Essentially, this brings a whole host of export restrictions that must be adhered to.
“Avian flu can have a damaging impact on manufacturers exporting poultry products. Already four countries – Israel, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Singapore – have banned or restricted poultry importation and many others could follow suit.”
Countries throughout Europe have reported bird flu incidents and as a result, information regarding premises of origin is now pivotal within the export industry.
Iveson added: “Export Health Certificates (EHCs) require poultry and poultry products to be checked by an official veterinarian (OV), who then signs and stamps the certificate. With approximately 75 different poultry export health certificates available for countries worldwide and export controls changing almost daily, ensuring you are adhering to regulations is essential.
“Any business which is unsure about its responsibilities should consult an official veterinarian such as AmiVet Exports for advice.”
The restrictions, calling on poultry to be kept indoors, have been in place since December 2016. In addition to affecting exporting regulations, they have also resulted in free range eggs temporality losing their free range status.