The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to require all those who consign equines for slaughter for human consumption to provide food chain information (FCI) to the food business operator (FBO) at the slaughterhouse.
It is the responsibility of the FBO at slaughterhouses to request, receive, check and act on FCI for all animals sent for slaughter for human consumption. FCI is required for all other animal species, and the FSA is introducing a model FCI document for equines as a template for owners to provide relevant information to the FBO. The template is based on the FCI model documents that the FSA produces for the different species of domestic ungulates (including cattle, goats, sheep and pigs) and should take less than 30 mins to complete.
FCI has been introduced progressively for all animal species as required by EU Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 but it was not previously introduced for equines in the UK because the horse passport was considered to provide the necessary information. There have however been reports that horses are being traded with false documentation when they are presented for slaughter for human consumption and there is evidence which supports these reports. The new requirements are intended to help overcome the difficulties that have arisen with reliance on the horse passport as the sole means of identifying equines presented for slaughter for human consumption.
Following a consultation earlier this year, which BEVA provided input to, the FSA is introducing equine FCI which, in addition to the passport for individual equines, must accompany all equines consigned for slaughter for human consumption. This new requirement will take effect from 23 February 2015 and will initially apply for a period of three years.
Full details of the specific requirements in Regulation 853/2004 that apply to FCI are shown in Annex A and the template equine document is attached at Annex B.
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