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Knackeries are premises used in slaughtering animals for animal food, including all buildings and holding yards.

Knackeries do not include abattoirs slaughtering animals for human consumption.

Knackery animals include: horse, donkey, camel, kangaroo, buffalo, deer, bull, ox, steer, cow, heifer, calf, ram, ewe, wether, hogget, lamb, goat, kid, swine, rabbit or bird.

Licensing, registration

Operators of a knackery need to:

  1. apply for a Food Authority licence online or download an application form (PDF, 418.6 KB), print and post it
  2. meet relevant standards
  3. prepare for routine inspections or audits.

Before being issued with a licence, the NSW Food Authority will carry out an inspection of the premises to ensure all buildings and equipment meet the requirements of the relevant standards.

For more see applying for a food licence.

Skills & knowledge

There are no formal qualifications required for knackeries, however each food handler and person in control of a food business is required to have food safety skills and knowledge appropriate to their food handling activities.

Construction & facilities

Construction and layout of a food premise must be designed to minimise the opportunity for food contamination.

Knackeries must ensure that their food premises, fixtures, fittings, equipment and transport vehicles are designed and constructed in a manner that means they can be easily cleaned and, where necessary, sanitised.

Businesses must also ensure that the premises are provided with the necessary services of water, waste disposal, light, ventilation, cleaning and personal hygiene facilities, storage space and access to toilets.

Requirements are set out in the Standard for the Hygienic Production of Pet Meat: PISC Technical Report 88.

Hygiene & handling

Operators need to implement a program of hygiene control, which includes cleaning of equipment, utensils, surfaces, protective gear and containers.

Each day, all plant, equipment and protective clothing needs to be clean before animal processing starts.

All possible precautions need to be taken to prevent harbourage of pests and control insects, birds, rodents and other pests at the facility.

Each person involved in processing of animal food needs to frequently (and whenever else necessary) and thoroughly wash their hands with liquid sanitiser and water.

Use of pesticides must not risk contaminating product or equipment.

Operators need to ensure no person known to be suffering from or a carrier of a disease or condition that can be transmitted through pet meat works is involved in any capacity where it is possible to contaminate product.

After handling diseased or suspect material, hands need to be thoroughly washed and protective gloves washed and sanitised before handling meat for animals or equipment used on meat for animals.

Requirements are set out in Standard for the Hygienic Production of Pet Meat: PISC Technical Report 88.

Cleaning & sanitation

Each day, all plant, equipment and protective clothing needs to be clean before animal processing starts.

Knackeries must implement a documented cleaning schedule that identifies:

  • all fixtures, fittings and equipment used in processing
  • the frequency of cleaning
  • how all fixtures, fittings and equipment are cleaned and sanitised
  • how food contact surfaces and utensils are sanitised, where applicable
  • chemical usage eg strength, contact times, temperature.

All fixtures, fittings and equipment must be adequate for the production of safe and suitable food, and fit for their intended use.

Routine internal cleaning and sanitation inspections must be undertaken, and records maintained for corrective action taken on any identified issues.

Cleaning chemicals must be suitable for contact with food and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Food safety controls

Production practices

To ensure meat produced by knackeries is suitable for consumption by animals, operators need to have management and production processes in place that include:

  • surveillance, sampling, monitoring and testing programs
  • a system for notifying the Food Authority of, and for handling, any animals, carcases and carcase parts affected by, or suspected of being affected by, a notifiable disease
  • inspection of suspect animals or carcases at the knackery by a suitably qualified person.

Sourcing & handling raw material

Meat for animal food should be sourced from:

  • animals slaughtered at an abattoir and passed as fit for human consumption
  • animals slaughtered at an abattoir and passed in whole or part by an inspector as suitable for pet meat
  • animals processed at a knackery
  • game animals passed as fit for human consumption
  • wild animals harvested in the field
  • field dressed carcases of large, feral animals where permitted by the Food Authority.

Containers in which raw meat material for animal food is kept on a premises must display a distinct yellow or red band that is not less than 50mm wide, applied completely around a cardboard carton and completely around polyethylene bags so it is clearly visible.

All containers in which raw pet meat is kept must be marked with the following:

Pet Meat – Not for human consumption

Fallen stock

Suitable meat for animal food may be derived from the processing of fallen stock however these carcases must be:

  • inspected prior to processing
  • directed for rendering if a carcase is observed to have an infectious disease or abnormal condition that renders it unfit for animal food
  • protected from contamination and deterioration
  • processed within a suitable time after death to avoid putrefaction must be notified immediately if a case of a notifiable disease is suspected

Animal welfare

Labelling

Containers in which raw meat material for animal food is kept on premises must display a distinct yellow or red band that is not less than 50mm wide, applied completely around a cardboard carton and completely around polyethylene bags so it is clearly visible.

All containers in which raw pet meat is kept must be marked with the following:

Pet Meat – Not for human consumption

Product identification (staining)

Pet meat must be produced so that it does not present a food safety risk to the health of pets. It must be suitably identified to prevent unintended use and substitution for product intended for human consumption.

Specifically:

  • pet meat that is intended to be sold without undergoing an approved heat treatment process (except where an alternate arrangement is approved by the Food Authority) must be identified by staining with Brilliant Blue FCF (CI 42090)
  • such staining must be applied to a carcase after skinning but before the carcase is broken up
  • field dressed pet meat must have the stain applied to meat surfaces in the field
  • the staining must be applied in such a manner that the product is clearly identifiable at all times. The surface of pet meat must be stained before delivery to a retail pet meat shop
  • meat prepared for human consumption that is delivered to a retail pet meat shop for use as pet meat must be stained prior to storage, display, or sale
  • the removal or attempted removal of any stain or staining material from stained meat is illegal.

Testing

No routine microbiological or chemical testing of product is required of knackeries.

Inspections & audits

Knackeries will be routinely checked by the Food Authority for compliance with requirements.

The Biosecurity Management Plan Implementation Program is an inspection and compliance program to help licensed abattoirs and knackeries reduce biosecurity risks. 

Read the implementation guide which has been developed for industry to help ensure a robust and consistent, risk based system is in place to maintain biosecurity.

Compliance or regulatory action will be taken if required.

There are fees for audits and inspections, payable by the licence holder.

For more see audits of licensed businesses

Legislation & standards

Operators of meat processing plants also need to meet the requirements set out in:

  1. Food Act 2003 (NSW)
  2. Food Regulation 2015 including relevant parts of the Meat Food Safety Scheme
  3. Standard for the Hygienic Production of Pet Meat: PISC Technical Report 88

 

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