Abattoirs reject 7000

3 October 1997

Abattoirs reject 7000

NEARLY 7000 animals presented at slaughterhouses between June and the end of August were turned away as part of the Meat Hygiene Services drive to clamp down on dirty animals entering abattoirs.

The MHS revealed that 4600 sheep and 2200 cattle were initially rejected when presented at abattoirs because they failed to meet new clean livestock criteria.

One-third of the sheep were cleaned on site and then accepted for slaughter, while a further third had to be detained in lairage facilities overnight. About 5% were rejected for slaughter.

Among the cattle, 12% were cleaned and presented for slaughter immediately, while 38% were slaughtered after being detained for a number of hours. Fourteen % were rejected.

Five categories

Government has introduced five categories to help MHS staff decide which animals should be accepted or rejected. Only the top two categories, depicting "clean and dry" animals or "dry animals with light contamination of hair and straw" are automatically accepted for slaughter.

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