Becoming a Certified Supplier or Certified Game Estate Supplier
Wild animals, Game Estate Animals and poisons
When wild animals eat poison baits, or eat other animals that have been poisoned, some of the poison residue can stay in their bodies for a long time without necessarily killing them.
Wild animals include possums, deer, pigs, goats, thar, chamois, rabbits, hares and wallabies. Game estate animals are limited to deer, thar, chamois, goats, pigs, wallabies and water buffalos.
Under the present system, these animals may be supplied live (possums) or hunted and supplied to the premises that process these wild or game estate animal carcasses into meat for human consumption. These premises are primary processors.
The poisons these animals may be exposed are called vertebrate toxic agents and are mainly used to kill possums and rats.
The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) is the government agency responsible for ensuring that the food we eat is safe. Poison residues in meat could cause illness in some people (as well as in animals, if they eat the meat). Any meat that contains poison residues is not considered by the government to be safe and so is not acceptable.
How do we know if there are poison residues in wild animal or game estate carcasses?
When wild or game estate animal carcasses are processed, NZFSA may take samples of meat or offal for testing at a laboratory. Poison residues have been found in wild animal meat, and this is one of the reasons why NZFSA has developed a new system of control.
If you are a hunter, it is essential that you supply wild or game estate animals that have only been taken from areas free of poisons. To do this, new Certified Supplier and Certified Game Estate Supplier systems have been developed to replace the old Approved Supplier system.
What has changed?
The new testing system began on November 1 2004. There is a multi-choice test for Certified Suppliers and Certified Game Estate Suppliers, and it includes questions on poison use, hygienic slaughter, handling, transport and cooling of wild and game estate animals, as well as information on where the animals were actually hunted or captured.
Certified Suppliers and Certified Game Estate Suppliers will also have to write an Operations Manual. This must be approved by the primary processor before any wild or game estate animals can be accepted for processing.
As a Certified Supplier or Certified Game Estate Supplier, you will need to provide specific information on exactly where the wild or game estate animal was hunted. You can do this with the aid of a topographic map or by using a GPS.
To ensure that the Certified Supplier and Certified Game Estate Supplier knows whether or not poison is being used, or has been used, on the land where the animals are being hunted or capture and so that this information is available to the primary processor, the certified supplier or certified game estate supplier is required to provide a Landowner/Manager Poison Use Statement or DoC Pesticide Summary for the areas of land from which the animals were taken. The Landowner/Manager Poison Use Statement is signed by the Landowner or manager and is valid for 30 days. Department of Conservation (DoC) Pesticides Summaries will continue in their current form and will be issued every three months.
General information on the system, the Operations Manual and the other requirements needed to supply wild animals – such as Statements – can be found in the NZFSA Administrative Manual: Supplier Requirements for Hunting Wild and Game Estate Animals. A copy of the manual is attached to this booklet. You can also find this manual on the NZFSA website at: http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/industry/sectors/meat-ostrich-emu-game/hunting-wild-animals/.
What is a Certified Supplier or Certified Game Estate Supplier?
A Certified Supplier is a hunter who is allowed to hunt wild animals for supply to processing premises operating under a registered risk management programme (primary processor).
A Certified Game Estate Supplier is a hunter who is allowed to hunt game estate animals for supply to a processing premises operating under a registered risk management programme (primary processor).
You may already be an Approved Supplier under the old system of approving hunters and may have previously passed the test. However, after March 31, 2005, anyone who wants to supply wild or game estate animals must pass the new test (even if you’ve taken one in the past) then apply for certification and listing on the NZFSA Certified Supplier or Certified Game Estate Supplier List.
What’s in the certification test?
You will be asked questions on the information that’s in the NZFSA Administrative Manual Supplier Requirements for Hunting Wild and Game Estate Animals. You will need to make sure you sit the correct test i.e. wild or game estate animals.
Who should I apply to if I want to sit the test?
To arrange to sit the test, contact the NZFSA VA person at any of the registered premises processing wild animals. You can also contact NZFSA VA by:
NZFSA Verification Agency
PO Box 2526
Where do I sit the test?
You will need to sit the test at a place where it can be supervised by an NZFSA VA person or by some other person acceptable to NZFSA VA.
If you get enough questions right (at least 80%), and pay the required fees, you will be sent a letter stating that you are now a Certified Supplier or Certified Game Estate Supplier and containing your Certification number, and be placed on the NZFSA Certified Supplier or Certified Game Estate Supplier List.
Why should I do this?
In order to supply wild or game estate carcasses to a primary processor, you will need to be a Certified Supplier or a Certified Game Estate Supplier. NZFSA randomly tests carcasses from at primary processors for poison residues. The primary processor will also test any carcass for poison residues if there is any evidence that the wild or game estate animal may have been hunted from an area that may have been laid with poisons. The cost of this testing will be the responsibility of the primary processor.
If you supply wild or game estate animals that have been on poisoned land, there is every chance that you will be caught.
If you are caught:
- your name may go on the National Chemical Residue Suspect List
- you may be suspended or removed from the NZFSA Certified Supplier or Certified Game Estate Supplier List
- you could face prosecution and a fine of up to $20,000 (or $100,000 if you’re a company).
What if I have a break from hunting?
It does not matter if you do not regularly supply wild or game estate animals during the time your name is on the list of Certified Suppliers or Certified Game Estate Suppliers. Hunters must be recertified every 2 years or their name is automatically removed from the NZFSA List. If your name is removed because you have not taken the two-yearly test and you want to re-apply, you just need to pay the same fees, as if you were applying for the first time, and pass the test again.
Hunting the right wild or game estate animals
Once you’ve been listed as a Certified Supplier or Certified Game Estate Supplier, you must only hunt and supply poison-free wild or game estate animals.
If you’ve been applying poisons
If you have been involved in pest control operations and handling or applying poisons, you, your clothes and your equipment will be contaminated.
Before you go hunting for wild or game estate animals, you must decontaminate yourself and your equipment, including vehicles.
Follow the instructions on the poison’s label. Poison residues from carcasses have been detected in the past and the contamination has been found to come from the hunter’s clothes.
Knowing about poisons
As well as not taking wild or game estate animals from areas where pesticides are being used on the day, you also need to hunt away from areas where pesticides have been used recently. This section tells you about the different pesticides, and how soon you can hunt in areas after these pesticides have been used.
You need a licence to buy 1080. It’s mostly used by councils, DoC, forestry companies and pest management agencies. 1080 operations are publicly notified and there will be signs erected.
1080 is extremely poisonous and causes death within hours. However, it’s easily broken down by water.
How is 1080 applied?
- helicopter drops of cereal baits or carrots with 1080 added
- mixing it in a paste and putting it in flower pots nailed to trees, or on the ground
- making pellets with flour and 1080, and putting them in bait stations.
Don’t take wild or game estate animals from an area where 1080 has been laid until
four months after the operation has ended
two months after the operation has ended and after 100 mm of rain has fallen.
Many of the vertebrate toxic agents used for pest control are anticoagulant poisons. Anticoagulants work by stopping blood from clotting. Animals that eat these poisons eventually bleed to death. Some examples of these include Talon, Pestoff, Bromatrol and Storm.
How are anticoagulants applied?
Anticoagulants are usually mixed with flour and made into hard pellets, which are dyed green or blue. The pellets are put in bait stations to protect them from the weather. Anyone can buy most of the anticoagulant poisons such as Talon or Pest-Off Possum, and they’re used a lot by landowners to control possums. Usually there aren’t any signs or public notifications where Talon is being used.
Pindone or Warfarin
These are first-generation anticoagulants, and these don’t persist for long in the animal. Don’t take wild or game estate animals from an area where Pindone or Warfarin or other first-generation anticoagulants has been used until two months after the operation has ended.
All other anticoagulants
Don’t take wild or game estate animals from an area where other second-generation anticoagulants have been used until three years after the operation has ended.
Phosphorus is often used against possums and is always applied in a paste.
Don’t take wild or game estate animals from an area where phosphorus has been used until
4 weeks after the operation has ended
Cyanide and Feratox kill so fast they don’t have a chance to get into the meat. You can hunt in areas where these poisons have been used straight away, and you don’t have to observe any special boundaries.
What’s in the poisons?
This information is NOT in the test.
Racumin, Racumin Paste, No Rats & Mice, Tracks No Rats & Mice,
Bromatrol, Rid Rat Super Wax Baits, Squeak Super, Contrac All Weather Blox
Talon, Talon Possum Bait, Pestoff Brodifacoum Possum Bait, Pestoff Rodent Blox, Talon Rat & Mice Pellets, Pestoff Waxed Possum Bait, Pestoff Rodent Bait
Pest Gone Rodent Bait, DiTrac All-weather Rodent Block, Pestoff Ferret Paste
Pindone Rabbit Pellets, Pindone Possum Pellets, Pindone Liquid Concentrate, Pindone RS5 Rabbit Pellets
0.6% 1080 Pellets, 1080 Solution, 0.2% 1080 Pellets, 10% 1080 Gel, 5% 1080 Gel, 0.08% 1080 Pellets, 0.15% 1080 Pellets, 0.04% 1080 Pellets, 0.10% Feral Cat Bait,
1080 (sodium monofluroacetate)
Cyanide Paste, Trappers Cyanide Paste, Cyanosil, Feratox
Phosphorised Rabbit Paste, Phosphorised Possum Paste Double Strength, Magtoxin
PestOff Treated Barley, Pestoff Bird Paste, Alpha-chlorolose Wheat, Pestoff Treated Peas