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Food safety: Iceland must improve ID checks of cattle



Iceland should improve the official controls of identification of bovine animals and products to make sure that they are in line with EEA food safety legislation. This is pointed out in a report published by the EFTA Surveillance Authority today.

The Authority conducted an inspection in November 2014 to verify that the controls carried out by the Icelandic authorities comply with the EEA legislation.

The inspection team found that the EEA requirements are transposed into Icelandic legislation. There is a system for ear tagging of bovines in place and a system for compulsory labelling of beef has been implemented as laid down in EEA legislation. There is a computerised database for bovines that includes the necessary information.  However, supervision of the reliability of data in the database by the Food Safety Authority of Iceland (MAST) has only recently started.

Iceland is not using bovine passports as it should, since the bovine database is not approved as fully functional by the Authority. In addition, the checks carried out from the district level to on-farm registers were not detailed enough to ensure that farmers comply with the requirements. The risk-based approach of checking bovine farms as set out in EEA legislation is not yet in place in Iceland

MAST has taken note of the shortcomings identified, and  their reply to the draft report included corrective actions with deadlines addressing the recommendations contained in the report. The action plan is annexed to the final report and is currently being reviewed by the Authority.

Read the final 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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