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Audit of Official Controls of Sheep Identification, Acceptance and Traceability within Slaughter Plants

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The FSAI today publishes its audit of official controls performed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Veterinary Public Health Inspection Service at sheep slaughter establishments. The scope of the audit was to examine the identification, acceptance and traceability of sheep and sheep meat within slaughter establishments.

The audit covered the organisation, planning, implementation and review of official controls within the Veterinary Public Health Inspection Service of the DAFM at national and regional levels in order to verify compliance with legal requirements and the DAFM’s own documented procedures. As part of this audit, compliance with the National Sheep Identification System in selected sheep slaughter establishments was assessed.

Non-compliances with the National Sheep Identification System – such as illegible, incomplete or inaccurate dispatch documents and untagged sheep entering the slaughter hall were identified during the audit.  There are no checks carried out by food business operators or the veterinary inspector (VI) at plant level on the accuracy or validity of the tag numbers recorded on the dispatch documents. Tag numbers on dispatch documents randomly chosen from each establishment were subsequently checked by the audit team to verify their authenticity. A significant number of tag numbers/identities selected were not valid.

The serious deficiencies identified during the audit relating to the acceptance, identification and traceability of sheep resulted in significant numbers of sheep slaughtered for human consumption that were not traceable to their farm of origin. Audit findings requiring corrective action are listed in the corrective action plan.

Audit Report

Corrective Action Plan


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