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Food safety: Room for improvement of controls on animal welfare in Iceland

5.9.2014

PR(14)57

Iceland needs to improve official controls concerning animal welfare at the time of killing to make sure that all relevant EEA requirements are fulfilled and action taken in case of non-compliances.

This is the main conclusion in a report published by the EFTA Surveillance Authority  today, following an inspection carried out in May 2014.

EEA law regarding animal welfare is not applicable to Iceland except the rules for protection of animals at the time of killing, which entered into force 1 January 2013. This was the first mission to Iceland to assess the organisation of official controls related to animal welfare, focusing mainly on slaughterhouses and assurance of compliance with requirements by food business operators and the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST).

In general, killing of animals and related operations were according to requirements. Furthermore, MAST has focused on raising competencies of involved parties and updating the official control procedures related to animal welfare at the time of killing.

However, the methods used for stunning of poultry did not ensure that all key parameters met minimum requirements, and own control systems at business operator level were not fully in place. In addition, MAST did not follow-up all non-compliances and a deadline concerning full enforcement of legal requirements had not been set.

The report includes a number of recommendations aimed at rectifying the identified shortcomings and enhancing the control system in place.

Iceland has taken note of the shortcomings identified, and has provided an action plan that addresses the Authority's recommendations. The action plan is included as Annex 3 to the report and is currently being reviewed by the Authority.

 

Read the full report here

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187




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