The Government has confirmed that traditional farmfresh turkeys produced on-farm by small producers are not under threat.
It has today issued for consultation proposals to amend the GB Regulations governing the hygiene of poultry meat, farmed game bird meat and rabbit meat production in licensed premises. Comments on the proposals are sought by 28 May 1999.
The proposed changes will bring GB regulations more fully into line with the requirements of the EU Directives on Poultry Meat Hygiene and Rabbit Meat and Farmed Game.
The main proposal is the removal of the current exemption for off-farm slaughterhouses killing less than 10,000 birds or rabbits per year from the requirements of the GB regulations. Such premises would be brought under licensing controls. This would provide a public health gain by driving up hygiene standards in those small off-farm premises.
Other proposals would:
These proposals would not affect the exemption from the GB regulations for on-farm production by small-scale farmers.
Rules governing the hygiene and inspection requirements of poultry, rabbit meat and farmed game licensed premises are laid down in the Poultry Meat, Farmed Game Bird Meat and Rabbit Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) Regulations 1995. These regulations implement EU Directives 92/116/EEC on Poultry Meat and 91/495/EEC on Rabbit Meat and Farmed Game Meat.
Comments to the consultation should be sent to Meat Hygiene Division, Room 517, Ergon House, London SW1A. Tel: 0171 238 5578. Copies of the consultation document are available from the same address by 28 May 1999. Similar consultation exercises will be taking place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.