Regulatory change could bring ‘exotic meats’ to Australia’s supermarkets

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 27th March 2012

A proposal to amend the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, if brought to fruition, means so called “exotic meats” such as bison, emu and crocodile could be sold in Australian supermarkets within a year.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which administers the Code, has begun consulting on a proposal to change regulations for producers and processors of minor meat species and wild game.

Meats covered by the proposal include buffalo, kangaroo, crocodile, rabbit, ostrich and emu.

While it is legal to eat these meats in Australia, current regulations make commercial production of these meats unviable for most producers.

FSANZ is considering incorporating the processing controls currently in place under existing legislation for other meats, such as beef, lamb and chicken. This reflects would enable all meat producers and processors to operate under a single, national set of requirements for all meat products, including exotic meats.

FSANZ intends to notify the Ministerial Council of its findings by late April 2013, following two public consultations. The closing date for submissions on the proposal is 21 May 2012.