Tighter regulations are now being put in place at slaughter houses that slaughter equines for human consumption.
The Food Standards Agency hopes the requirement of Food Chain Information (FCI) will ensure that equines treated with veterinary medicinal products that are not authorised for use in animals destined for human consumption do not enter the food chain.
It will also reduce the number of equines put forward for slaughter with false documentation.
From 23 February 2015 FCI will be required at all slaughterhouses for equines consigned to slaughter for human consumption in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In addition to the passport for individual equines, the FCI must accompany all equines consigned for slaughter for human consumption.
This new requirement will apply for a period of three years.
What is Food Chain Information?
Horses and other equines are considered under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 to be food producing animals. FCI has been introduced progressively for all animal species as required by Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 but it was not introduced for equines in the UK from 1 January 2009.
The FCI must accompany the equine’s passport as section IX of the passport will remain as the confirmation whether the animal is eligible to go for human consumption or not.
The FCI is a standard document that takes into account the requirements of Annex II, Section III of Regulation 853/2004. It will be a standard form which covers a number of issues including the health of the equine and any medicinal products administered to the equine.
Download a model of the FCI document.
Who is responsible for FCI?
The owner or keeper of the equine is responsible for completing and signing the document. It is the responsibility of food business operators at slaughterhouses to request, receive, check and act on FCI for all animals sent for slaughter for human consumption.
For further information, visit food.gov.uk.