Poultry

All poultry meat businesses must meet legal requirements, which ensure their products are safe and suitable for human consumption. Find out about legislation and guidance that applies to your new business

Road Map Poultry Legislation (272 KB PDF)

This page is a quick guide to the legal requirements for poultry meat products.

For an outline of information in the 'Poultry & eggs' section of the website, and what other requirements you need to meet, see the Overview page, in the menu to the left.

Requirements for poultry and poultry products

If you farm poultry for meat processing, or process, sell or export poultry products, you must meet legal requirements for food safety and suitability.

Decide which regulatory requirements apply to you

3 pieces of food-related legislation regulate the New Zealand poultry industry:

  • the Agricultural Compound and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997
  • the Animal Products Act 1999
  • the Food Act 2014.

The regulatory regime that applies to you depends on the types of activities your business conducts. You must identify these activities and ensure you comply with the corresponding legislation.

Operating under the Food Act

Rules for food businesses are changing – we're moving from the Food Act 1981 to the Food Act 2014. From 1 March 2016, all new businesses must operate under the Food Act.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) will shift to the new Act between 2016 and 2019. Check the timetable to find out when your type of business has to transition.

A poultry business generally includes one or more of the following activities:

These people… must comply with under this legislation
Poultry farmers Documented Whole Flock Health Scheme (WFHS) Human Consumption Specifications
Requirements for vaccinations, medicines, and feeds Agricultural Compound and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997
Primary processors (slaughter and dressing) A registered Risk Management Programme (RMP) Animal Products Act 1999
Microbiological testing NMD Specifications
Visual examination requirements before and after slaughter Ante- and Post-Mortem Examination Specifications
General Safety and suitability requirements Food Act 2014
Standard 2.2.1: Meat and Meat Products Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC)
Labelling and composition requirements for products Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC)
All secondary processors General safety and suitability requirements Food Act 2014
Standard 2.2.1: Meat and Meat Products Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC)
Labelling and composition requirements for products Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC)
Secondary processors only (cut-up, deboning, packaging FCP or RMP Food Act 2014
or
Animal Products Act 1999
Secondary processors who are also primary processors RMP (for primary processing)
and RMP or FCP (for secondary processing)
Animal Products Act 1999
or Food Act 2014 (for the secondary processing operations)
Secondary processors who export with an official assurance RMP Animal Products Act 1999

In general:

  • Poultry farmers must comply with the Animal Products Act 1999
  • Primary processors must comply with the Animal Products Act 1999 and the Food Act 2014
  • Secondary processors must have a registered FCP under the Food Act 2014, except where they are exporting with an official assurance. In this case, they must have a registered RMP under the Animal Products Act
  • Petfood operators – see the 'Petfood & inedibles' section of this website
  • If you need to comply with an Act, you also need to comply with its associated legislation. For example, Regulations, Orders, Specifications, Notices, and Standards. For the specific associated legislation you need to follow (including links) see the page in this Poultry section for your particular activity.

In addition:

RMPs & FCPs

Different Acts have different ways of controlling risk, for example:

  • RMP = Risk Management Programme
  • FCP = Food Control Plan

To find out which one you need and how these work, see the page in this Poultry section for your particular activity.