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Australia's game meat industries: among the healthiest and most humane.

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AFFA01/89WT 12 April 2001

Australia's game meat industries — among the healthiest and most humane

Claims by animal welfare protesters in the UK that kangaroos are harvested inhumanely and that their meat is unhygienic and unhealthy are completely unjustified and misinformed, the Federal Agriculture Minister, Warren Truss, said today.

Mr Truss said the unfortunate foot-and-mouth and mad cow disease outbreaks in the European Union are significantly increasing the demand for Australian game meats, including kangaroo, crocodile, emu and ostrich.

"Kangaroo exports are subject to stringent inspection requirements by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) under the Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production of Game Meat for Human Consumption," Mr Truss said.

"The standard covers the production, processing, handling and transportation of game meats, including kangaroo, to ensure safe and wholesome products."

"Once killed, kangaroos destined for human consumption, like any other livestock animal, must undergo strict post mortem inspection to check for parasites. All kangaroos culled must be delivered to abattoirs with vital organs intact so these inspections can take place.

"Kangaroos are harvested by licensed shooters in accordance with a strict code of practice which was produced with the assistance of animal welfare groups. Kangaroo harvesting is closely regulated and monitored to ensure the sustainability of the kangaroos and Australia's unique ecosystems," Mr Truss said.

"The annual State-based harvesting quotas are determined scientifically though aerial and other surveys.

"The Australian kangaroo industry is in a position to offer markets around the world a quality-assured, uniquely Australian game meat that is second to none. Kangaroo meat is lean and healthy with only around 2 per cent fat and very high levels of quality protein, iron and zinc.

"Crocodile, emu and ostrich meat industries are also seeing unprecedented demand for their products in Europe.

"All these game meats are processed under strict AQIS standards and the industries follow strict controls covering meat processing and food safety.

"These niche export market industries provide significant regional employment and development opportunities which will be further enhanced by the expanded market opportunities."

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

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Last updated 18 April 2001

URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2000