For Your Information: F5-05 Middle East Markets

New Zealand Food Safety Authority
Date: 15 April 2005
From: Neil Armitage, Programme Manager Market Access (Middle East & Africa)

(Any queries contact your local verifier)

Meat from slaughtered farmed deer may be certified, at commercial risk, for export to Middle East Markets on respective country certificates for animal products intended for human consumption.

Venison is not a type of meat that is traditionally consumed by Muslims. The meat from deer has the connotation of being meat from a hunted animal, the consumption of which is forbidden in the diet of Muslims and Jews. However venison from slaughtered farmed deer would be permissible in the diet of Muslims, and venison from Halal slaughtered farmed deer is being exported to some Middle East countries.

NZFSA has not specifically negotiated the exportation of venison to any Middle East country. Broader discussions with individuals in the region suggests that venison from slaughtered farmed deer should not be a problem provided the processing of venison follows the same rules for the processing and labelling of meat from cattle, sheep and goats. The Halal certifying authorities in New Zealand are comfortable with the processing of venison from slaughtered farmed deer.

Historical export certification of venison from slaughtered farmed deer (game meat) makes identical statements to export certification of meat derived from stock as defined under the Meat Act regime (cattle, sheep, goats etc.). Under the Animal Products Act 1999 (Act) there is no longer any differentiation between game and meat and there is now no reason for venison to be treated any differently from meat of other species, if produced and processed under the same conditions. Meat is no longer defined in the Act and, unless defined more specifically in a country OMAR, now assumes the interpretation given in the Oxford dictionary – “animal flesh as food”.

Country OMARs for Egypt and Jordan refer only to meat and meat products. They are not species specific and do not prohibit or restrict venison. Venison could therefore be certified for export to these countries in the same manner as meat from cattle, sheep and goats.

The new country OMARs for Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE do refer to meat from ovine and bovine species and infer that meat from slaughtered farmed deer is not permitted. These OMARs do not restrict or prohibit venison. The new UAE OMAR acknowledges, in an information box, that venison is being exported under the same conditions as ovine and bovine products.

Whilst NZFSA can not provide exporters with any agreed conditions for export of venison from slaughtered farmed deer to the Middle East countries, NZFSA will provide export certification at commercial risk on current certificates applicable to meat and meat products.

Disclaimer: This For Your Information is intended for use as a guideline only and should not be taken as definitive or exhaustive. NZFSA endeavours to keep this information current and accurate. However, it may be subject to change without notice. NZFSA will not accept liability for any loss resulting from reliance on this information.

Key contacts