Meat Notice 2019-01 – Amended ovine definitions in the Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Orders 2005

NSFS reference: 12.1

Issue date: 28/6/201​9

Date of effect: 1/7/2019

Review date: 1/7/ 2020

Contact officers:

Jon Cupit
Operational Integrity, Export Meat Program
02 6272 5630

Christina McPhie
Director – Operational Integrity
02 2672 3059

Distribution categories

  • Central and regional office
  • Department on-plant officer(s)
  • Managers, export meat establishments
  • State/Territory regulatory authorities

Purpose

This notice provides export registered establishments with information on the legislative amendment to ovine definitions contained within the Export Control (Meat and Meat Products) Orders 2005 (the Orders).

Scope

This notice applies to all export registered establishments slaughtering ovine animals, boning ovine carcases, processing or storing ovine meat or meat products.

Background

A legislative amendment to the ovine definitions contained within the Orders was completed in March 2019 and will take effect from 1 July 2019. This amendment to the Orders provides alignment with the Australian Meat Industry Classification System.

Ovine animals slaughtered on or after 1 July 2019 will be required to meet the requirements of the new definitions.

The department has undertaken a review of importing country requirements and has assessed the risk to market access as low. The department has communicated the changes and implementation date to trading partners.

Definitions

The following table compares the current definition with the amended ovine definitions which come into effect from 1 July 2019.

Current definition
– for animals slaughtered on or before 30 June 2019
Amended definition
– for animals slaughtered on or after 1 July 2019
lamb means meat derived from a female, castrated male or entire male ovine animal that shows no evidence of eruption of permanent incisor teeth.

lamb means meat derived from an ovine animal that:

  1. is under 12 months of age; or
  2. does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear.

mutton means meat derived from a female or a castrated male ovine animal that:

  1. has erupted one or more permanent incisor teeth; and
  2. in the case of males—shows no evidence of secondary sexual characteristics.

mutton means meat derived from:

  1. a female ovine animal that has at least one permanent incisor tooth in wear; or
  2. a castrated male ovine animal that:
    1. has at least one permanent incisor tooth in wear; and
    2. shows no evidence of secondary sexual characteristics.

ram means meat derived from:

  1. a male ovine animal showing secondary sexual characteristics; or
  2. an entire male ovine animal that has erupted one or more permanent incisor teeth.

ram means meat derived from:

  1. an entire male ovine animal that:
    1. has at least one permanent incisor tooth in wear; or
    2. shows evidence of secondary sexual characteristics; or
  2. a castrated male ovine animal that shows evidence of secondary sexual characteristics.

Note: AUS-MEAT Pty Ltd (AUS-MEAT) alternative categories of young lamb, hogget (or yearling mutton), ewe and wether are not basic categories under the Orders and do not appear in either the current or amended Orders. AUS-MEAT is responsible for updating the alternative category definitions in the AUS-MEAT language.

‘In wear’ definition

The current and amended definition in the Orders does not define ‘in wear’. AUS-MEAT has advised that the definition of ‘in wear’ that will be applied to all amended definitions is:

A permanent incisor is considered ‘in wear’ if:

  1. it touches the upper pad when the sheep’s mouth is closed; or
  2. it is above the height of the milk teeth either side of the permanent incisors.

The department continues to hold responsibility for the basic categories, i.e. lamb, mutton and ram. Department staff will maintain oversight of establishment activities related to basic categorisation. AUS-MEAT will continue verification activities of age categorisation and will be auditing against the new definitions from 1 July, 2019.

Responsibilities

5.1     Establishment management must:

  1. Review the approved arrangement
  2. Ensure any definitions, diagrams, photographs or other information relating to lamb, ram and mutton align with the amended ovine definitions
  3. Ensure continued compliance with importing country requirements where these differ from the Australian definitions of lamb, mutton and ram
  4. Update any signage or other material, such as dentition posters, to align with the amended definitions
  5. Update training material to reflect the amendment.

5.2      Departmental on-plant officers will:

  1. Provide establishment management with a copy of this meat notice as soon as possible
  2. Verify the establishment responsibilities and actions of this meat notice (as relevant) have been included in the occupier’s arrangement
  3. Verify the establishment complies with the requirements of this notice.

5.3      Departmental Auditors (Food Safety Auditors or Area Technical Managers) will:

  1. Review the occupier’s approved arrangement
  2. Approve or not approve the arrangement as per their findings
  3. Verify through audits the occupier compliance/non-compliance with relevant export legislation, importing country requirements and Australian standards.

 

Jason Lucas
Director
Export Meat Program

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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