23 November 1999
French poultry hygiene slammed

By FWi staff

A POULTRY industry leader has questioned whether Britain should accept French poultry after a damning report by European Union inspectors.

The report catalogues dirty and unsafe practices in French poultry slaughterhouses, detailing how birds were contaminated, cutting equipment was not clean and veterinary supervision absent.

Speaking to Radio 4s Farming Today Peter Bradnock, chief executive of British Poultry Meat Federation, said: “The commissions report reveals a very lax approach to inspection in France.

“This gives French producers a production and financial advantage, and I think it also raises some questions as to whether we should be accepting this material.

Mr Bradnock said birds were not satisfactorily stunned, and there were reports of faecal contamination of turkey carcasses and cuts.

He added that in several plants there were no official inspections, all inspections were carried out by plant staff.

Mr Bradnock also raised concerns about poultry production conditions in Thailand and Brazil, which supply 30,000 tonnes of poultry a year.

An inspection in Brazil earlier this year recorded ongoing problems. The EC gave Brazil six months to put these right or poultry imports from Brazil would be suspended.

“That six months up in January, so we will be watching that very closely,” said Mr Bradnock.

He added that that the commission had not even managed to inspect Thai plants. Independent verification was needed to see whether those plants were up to EU standard, he said.