Meat Notice 2021-01 – Gunshot wound incident reporting – Kangaroo processing establishments

19 July 2021

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NSFS reference: 14.1

Issue date: 19 July 2021

Date of effect: Immediate

Review date: July 2023

Contact officers:

Fiona Kelk
Veterinary Officer – Operational Integrity
02 6272 3608

Christina McPhie
Director Operational Integrity
02 6272 3059

Purpose

This notice provides export registered kangaroo processing establishments with revised requirements for reporting kangaroo gunshot wounds (GSW) to the relevant state /territory authority. This notice updates Meat Notice 2020/01.

Scope

This notice applies to export registered kangaroo processing establishments.

Definitions

Term Definition
Approved Arrangement (AA) An arrangement approved by the department under the Export Control Act.
Area Technical Manager (ATM) A departmental officer with veterinary qualifications who has responsibility for the supervision, technical performance, assessment and verification of technical standards and operations in a defined group of export meat establishments within a geographic area in a state or states.
Field Operational Manager (FOM) A senior veterinary officer who has responsibility for technical supervision of ATMs within and across defined geographic areas.
Gunshot wound (GSW) A wound to an area other than the head of a harvested kangaroo.
Note: Old wounds indicative of pre-hunting activities (such as non-commercial or illegal culling, wounds from shotgun pellets and small calibre weapons) are not considered linked to commercial harvesting. These should be described in the incident report, including confirmation by the OPV.
Meat Export Data Collection (MEDC) System An interactive web portal used to record a range of information gathered about export meat.
On-plant Veterinarian (OPV) A veterinarian employed by the department to conduct and provide daily supervision of post-mortem inspection and verification of the game processing establishment’s approved arrangement.
Tier 1 Under this system an establishment produces export meat and meat products that meet the requirements of the Australian Standard, importing country requirements and elements of the Export Control Act 2020 relating to product integrity.
Tier 2 This system operates under direct departmental supervision and establishments are required to export meat and meat products in compliance with importing country requirements, the Australian Standard and the Export Control Act 2020.

Background

The humane harvesting of kangaroos supports the acceptability of kangaroo meat and meat products by the Australian public and overseas trading partners.

The National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes (the National Code of Practice) provides kangaroo shooters with guidance to ensure that the shooting of free-living kangaroos and wallabies is carried out in a way that minimises pain and suffering.

Export registered kangaroo processing establishments monitor and verify that kangaroos arriving for processing are harvested humanely and in accordance with the National Code of Practice.

Lesion assessment, evidence collection and reporting

Establishment personnel responsible for determining whether GSWs are present in the carcase should make note and collect evidence where a GSW lesion appears to be:

  • a result of a ricochet or deviation of a bullet from a head shot to the animal
  • a result of pre-harvesting activities.

Indicators of a lesion being caused pre-harvest include signs of age of the lesion, e.g. healing has commenced, pus has formed, tissues around the wound track have died back, or signs that otherwise indicate the animal was alive for a reasonable period of time after the wound occurred.

For all GSW carcases, photographs of the whole carcase showing the carcase tag and close-up photographs of the GSW lesions must be provided with the incident report. Photos must be clear, have good resolution and be a sufficient size to allow for compliance inspection and follow-up interviews, ideally no more than two images per page. The close-up photographs should include a reference object adjacent to the lesion to enable accurate assessment of size. Preferably a ruler or tape measure is used as the reference object, but a common object of known size, such as a pen or pencil, may be used if a ruler is not available.

A kangaroo gunshot wound incident report must be completed for every GSW incident. Details of GSW lesions apparently due to pre-harvest activities should be described in adequate detail in the Additional information part of Section D: Incident description of the incident report.

Responsibilities

Establishment management must:

Tier 1 Establishments

  1. Include a kangaroo gunshot wound (GSW) incident reporting system which covers all the below requirements in the establishment’s Approved Arrangement (AA).
     
  2. Identify carcases with gunshot wounds and remove from processing.

    Note: GSW carcases are not eligible for either human consumption or pet food production. Skins from GSW carcases must also be condemned.
     
  3. Fill out a gunshot wound incident report (Attachment 1) and email together with photographic evidence within one business day to the relevant state authority (Attachment 2), the establishment’s Field Operations Manager (FOM) and the Food Safety Unit (foodsafetyunit@awe.gov.au).
     
  4. Retain GSW carcases under appropriate control until otherwise advised by the relevant state authority.


    IMPORTANT: Kangaroos can be harvested at a number of locations around Australia. They may be harvested from one state and sent to another for processing. Establishment management must report GSW incidents to the state authority where the kangaroos were harvested and cc the state authority where the processing establishment is located.
  1. Liaise with the relevant state authority as required. 

Tier 2 Establishments

  1. Include a kangaroo GSW incident reporting system which covers all the below requirements in the establishment’s AA.
  2. Identify carcases with gunshot wounds and remove from processing.

    Note: GSW carcases are not eligible for either human consumption or pet food production. Skins from GSW carcases must also be condemned.
     
  3. Fill out a gunshot wound incident report (Attachment 1) and email together with photographic evidence within one business day to the on-plant veterinarian (OPV).
     
  4. Retain gunshot wound carcases under appropriate control until otherwise advised by the relevant state authority.

Departmental OPVs will:

  1. Provide establishment management with a copy of this meat notice as soon as possible.
     
  2. Verify the establishment responsibilities and actions under this meat notice have been included in the establishment’s AA.
     
  3. Verify the establishment’s ongoing compliance with the requirements of this notice.
     
  4. Advise establishment management of any GSW carcases not identified by the establishment operators and ask management to complete a gunshot wound incident report.
     
  5. Consult with establishment management on any GSW that appear to be due to pre-harvesting activities, e.g., non-commercial, or illegal culling, shotgun pellet wounds, small calibre weapon wounds, old/healing wounds, and provide written comments on these in Section D: Incident description of the incident report
     
  6. Review GSW incident reports raised by establishment management and verify they contain all the required information and clear photographic evidence.
     
  7. Ensure carcases condemned due to GSW are recorded in MEDC as a condemned ‘non-headshot’.
     
  8. Forward completed animal welfare incident reports to the relevant state authority (Attachment 2), Area Technical Manager (ATM) and the Food Safety Unit (foodsafetyunit@awe.gov.au) within one business day of receiving it.

    IMPORTANT: Kangaroos can be harvested at a number of locations around Australia. They may be harvested from one state and sent to another for processing. The OPV must report GSW incidents to the state authority where the kangaroos were harvested and cc the state authority where the processing establishment is located.
  1. Liaise with the relevant state authority as required. 

Area Technical Managers will:

  1. Review and approve the Tier 2 establishment’s AA.
     
  2. Verify through audits the occupier’s compliance/non-compliance with relevant export legislation, importing country requirements and Australian standards.

Field Operational Managers will:

  1. Provide establishment management with a copy of this meat notice as soon as possible.
     
  2. Review and approve the Tier 1 establishment’s AA.
     
  3. Verify through audits the occupier’s compliance/non-compliance with relevant export legislation, importing country requirements and Australian standards.

State regulatory authorities will:

  1. Verify through audits the occupier’s compliance/non-compliance with relevant export legislation, importing country requirements and Australian standards.

State regulatory authorities (animal welfare) will:

  1. Take appropriate follow-up action on reports received from kangaroo processing establishments.
     
  2. Advise the establishment management and the on-plant veterinarian if carcase retention is required and liaise with the on-plant veterinarian if additional information is required.
     
  3. Provide the OPVs, establishment management and copy in the Food Safety Unit (foodsafetyunit@awe.gov.au) with feedback on the progress/outcome of investigation taken.

Adam Balcerak
Director
Export Meat Program

Last reviewed: 20 July 2021
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