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Assessment of information concerning consumption of skin on sheep meat treated with veterinary medicines
Project Code: ZM0112
Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge
Goat meat with the skin on is produced and eaten in a number of non-EU countries. In the UK there is a market for sheep meat with the skin on (also known as “smokies”) as an alternative to the goat product. Skin-on sheep meat is prepared by burning the flesh of a ewe carcase with a blow torch to give a golden appearance and a smoky taste.
Residues of veterinary medicinal products in conventional skin-off animal products are considered not to be a risk, provided the manufacturers instructions have been followed and the appropriate withdrawal period has been observed. MRL’s are required for “pig/chicken skin and fat in natural proportions”, as the skin can be consumed in both cases. According to the CVMP Note for Guidance on the Risk Analysis Approach for Residues of Veterinary Medicinal Products in Food of Animal Origin (EMEA/CVMP/187/00-Final) it is possible to extrapolate MRLs within classes of animals. If identical MRLs for a veterinary medicinal product were derived in cattle, pigs and poultry, which represent the major species with different metabolic capacities and tissue composition, the same MRL can also be set for sheep, horses or rabbits.
A number of ectoparasiticides and macrocyclic lactone products with MA’s for sheep also have MA’s for pigs and poultry.
Thus the SP’s cypermethrin or deltamethrin or the OP diazinon have identical MRL’s for sheep fat as for pig or chicken skin and fat. Similarly the endectocides doramectin and ivermectin have similar MRL’s. It can be assumed therefore that the withdrawal periods for products containing these activesalready defined on the product label would be the same regarding the consumption of ovine skin and fat (in equal proportions). Thus it would be possible to control the majority of sheep endo- and ectoparasites with existing actives if extrapolation of MRLs and withdrawal periods was allowed.
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