The pitfalls of homekill
Farmer Freddy learns about the rules and restrictions on the processing and sale of homekill meat.
Farmer Freddy is enjoying a quiet catch-up with his daughter Pebbles, a lawyer, as he takes a break from his hectic life on the farm.
“Dad”, says Pebbles, “my boss is really into his barbequing and he wants me to ask you if he could buy a beast off you so he can fill up his freezer in preparation for summer. Are you interested in making some extra cash?” asks Pebbles.
Not one to sit about when extra money is on the table (especially from a lawyer), Freddy leaps up from his chair, pumps his fist and says, “Get your townie boss down here right away! I’ve got a steer I’ve been saving for my freezer, but if he’s willing to pay for it, we’ll get it straight off to Mr. Slate the butcher.”
After seeing something on a current affairs show recently about the selling of homekill meat, Pebbles does some investigating and discovers there’s more to it than she first thought. In a panic, she quickly phones Freddy to tell him to put a halt to his grand plans.
“Dad, there are rules and restrictions on the processing and sale of homekill meat contained in the Animal Products Act. Basically Dad, you can only consume homekill meat yourself, together with your family or household”, says Pebbles.
The Animal Products Act places limits on the supply of meat to ensure that meat is fit for consumption. The restrictions are to “homekill” rather than regulated meat such as meat which is processed in the regulated system at a licensed abattoir.
In addition, only animal owners who are actively engaged in the day to day maintenance of the animal, or animals of the same kind, for a period of at least 28 days can use a homekill butcher to kill and process the animal.
“But what about my farm worker, Dino? I have to give him half a beast each year as part of his pay packet. By the sounds of it, I’m breaking the law by supplying him and his family with meat”, says Freddy.
“Don’t worry Dad. You’re allowed to supply meat to your employees, so long as the meat is used by your employee and their family and household”, says Pebbles. “You are also allowed to feed the meat to your visitors, in particular the nights I come for dinner”, laughs Pebbles.
“Don’t push your luck too much”, says Freddy, “You should be cooking me dinner at this time of year.”
“Well, Billy the steer, it looks like you live another day”, chuckles Freddy.