27 Mar 2013

MPI investigates illegal wild goat meat sales

10:31 am on 27 March 2013

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has cracked down on illegal wild goat meat sales in Taranaki.

MPI investigators have searched two New Plymouth residences and a commercial retailer to determine whether they were involved in the slaughter, processing and sale of unregulated goat meat.

They found documents and cash at one of the houses that appeared to be related to the illegal sale of meat.

MPI investigator Peter Dwen said inquiries began several months ago after the ministry received information about the trade in wild goat meat, but it was still too early to say whether charges will be laid.

"We can say that they are wild goats that have been rounded up and then slaughtered on private premises, not in a commercial abbatoir or anywhere with hygenic practices, and then it's being sold."

Mr Dwen said there are certain legal requirements that must be fulfilled if animals are being slaughtered for human or animal consumption, such as a food safety programme.

He said it will take several more weeks to gather and assess the evidence before MPI decides whether to prosecute anyone.