Damning report highlights traceability issues at knackeries, cattle shot by untrained staff
- No procedures in place to verify that animals did not die as a result of a disease that could transfer to humans or animals.
- Animals being shot on-sites by untrained staff
- Fundamental deficiencies relating to the staining and labelling of Animal by Products
- In one establishment, significant volumes of tripe, packed in plastic bags, were stored in a large refrigerated container with no traceability as to where it came from.
A damming report published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has highlighted traceability issues and a lack of standards in the handling of animal by-products at a host of knackeries around the country.
Failings at knackeries, which handle animals not intended for human consumption, included inadequate traceability levels, insufficient controls to ensure animal by-products could not end up in the human food chain and fundamental deficiencies relating to the staining and labelling of such products.
While there was no suggestion that animal by-product meat was ending up in the human food chain, animal by-products being handled by these processors must be treated according to certain regulations to help identify it.
One site, which was feeding animal by-products to dogs, was found to have such meat labelled with an approval mark indicating it was fit for human consumption when it was not.
The FSAI also found that in one collection centre shot animals on-site but operating procedures were not available and staff had not been trained on this practice.
It found in a number of establishments there were no controls in place for some animal by-products and said the effectiveness of official controls applied in knackeries should be reviewed so the risk of animal by-products entering the human food chain is minimised.
The FSAI said some of the businesses audited did not have procedures in place to verify that animals were not killed or did not die as a result of the presence or suspected presence of a disease communicable to humans or animals.
In addition, it hit out at the Department of Agriculture for not putting in place a system of official controls to verify that this requirement is being complied with.