"Too many authorities used to be involved in supervising the live pigs market. Now China’s government wants to have only one, the Ministry of Agriculture, although China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine [AQSIQ] still holds the power of testing imported pork," He Zhonghua, an analyst from the China Meat Association told GlobalMeatNews.
Henceforth, the Agriculture Ministry will be fully responsible for supervising and managing the slaughter of live pigs, including drafting related laws, regulations, drafts, compliance and supervising the production procedures. He said that, at present, more than four authorities "are involved in supervising the live pigs markets, which easily causes complex disputes and results in ineffective management. China’s government now wants to fix this."
To prepare for its new role, the Agriculture Ministry has set up a special team to decide how it will assume responsibility for pigs slaughtering controls. Those undertaken by provincial-level officials will be transferred this June; city-based local officials will undertake grassroots inspections from September; and all pig slaughter control responsibilities will be transferred to the Ministry by the end of this year (2014). Ministry officials will also be drafting changes to China’s live pigs slaughter management regulation.
One particular concern is the feed additive ractopamine, and this will be one of the few areas where controls are shared by the Agriculture Ministry. It will remain responsible for testing domestically produced pork to see if it contains ractopamine, as it is usually added during the farming process, while AQSIQ will test imported pork for traces of the additive. "Based on China’s current supervision system for imported and exported goods, the authorities for testing ractopamine remain the same," He confirmed. The Agriculture Ministry could not be reached for comment by GlobalMeatNews about the changes.