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Final report of an audit conducted in Ukraine to verify the implementation of meat inspection system and animal health controls governing the production of poultry meat and meat products

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Abbreviations and special terms used in the report

BIP:

Border Inspection Post

CA:

Competent Authority

CCA:

Central Competent Authority

CCP:

Critical control point

CFIA:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

CVO:

Chief Veterinary Officer

EU:

European Union

HACCP:

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points

HPAI:

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

ISO:

International Organisation of Standards

LCA:

Local Competent Authority

ND:

Newcastle Disease

OIE:

World Organisation for Animal Health

RCA:

Regional Competent Authority

RTE:

Ready-to-Eat

SSUFSCP:

State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection

Executive summary

This report describes the outcome of an onsite audit of the meat inspection systems and animal health controls governing the production of poultry meat and meat products intended for export to Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted the audit from May 13 to 24, 2019. The public health objective of the audit was to verify that the meat inspection systems governing poultry meat and meat products in Ukraine function in a manner determined to be equivalent to those of Canada. The animal health objective was to determine the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle Disease (ND) status of Ukraine and verify that animal health controls adequately mitigate the risk of introduction of these diseases into Canada via imports of poultry meat and meat products from vertically integrated, poultry production and processing systems. Furthermore, regions of Crimea and Oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk were not in scope of this audit. The audit focused on verification of activities within the following subject areas:

The audit results showed that animal health controls and the meat inspection system governing the production of poultry meat and meat products under the vertically integrated and EU eligible system are performing in an adequate manner. The State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSUFSCP) has well established legal authority sufficient to carry out animal health programs, eradication and quarantine activities for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle Disease (ND). Furthermore, in-depth poultry diseases surveillance evaluation from 2016 to 2018 concluded that likelihood of Ukraine currently being free of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle Disease (ND) is high.

Following the review of action plan provided by competent authority, the CFIA determined that Ukraine's meat inspection system governing the production of poultry meat and meat products under the vertically integrated and EU eligible system are performing in an adequate manner and meet Canadian requirements.

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

As of April 3, 2018, there were more than 132 million head of commercial poultry in the Ukraine. The majority (98%) was composed of meat type and laying type chickens. Of the close to 45 million backyard poultry head in the Ukraine, the majority (79%) are chickens. There are a total of 446 commercial poultry farms in the Ukraine. The poultry market in Ukraine is dominated by vertical integrated production with domestic poultry production projected to expand by 60% to a total of 1.52 million tonnes in 2025.

Presently, the poultry meat inspection system of Ukraine is not recognized and the CFIA does not consider Ukraine free of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle disease (ND). Therefore, imports of meat and meat products from Ukraine to Canada are not allowed. In response to Ukraine's request of exporting poultry meat and meat products to Canada, the CFIA conducted a document review and onsite audit to evaluate the meat inspection systems and animal health controls governing the production of poultry meat and meat products under a vertically integrated system. As only 2 slaughter and 1 processing establishments were in the scope of this audit, an establishment-by-establishment approval approach was selected.

1.2 Audit objective, scope, and methodology

The audit focused on verification of activities within the following subject areas:

Administrative functions were reviewed at headquarters of the CCA (Central Competent Authority), regional and local offices at which time the auditors evaluated regulatory, oversight, enforcement and training frameworks, export and import controls, and HPAI and ND surveillance. The CFIA auditors were accompanied throughout the audit by representatives from the CCA.

Table 1: summary of audit scope
Competent authority/establishment visits Number of sites visited Locations
Opening and closing meetings N/A Kyiv
Poultry slaughter establishments 2 Vinnytsia and Cherkasy regions
Poultry processing establishment 1 Kyiv region
Border inspection post 1 Volyn region
Regional office 1 Cherkasy region
Local office 1 Kyiv region
Commercial poultry farms 2 Vinnytsia and Cherkasy regions
Backyard poultry farm 1 Kyiv region
National reference laboratory 1 Kyiv
Regional state laboratory 1 Lviv

1.3 Legal basis for the audit and audit standards

The audit was undertaken under the specific provisions of Canadian laws and regulations, in particular:

The audit was conducted in a manner consistent with conventional program delivery audit standards, and was intended to assess the degree to which inspection activities performed by the CCA were consistent with the Ukrainian and Canadian regulatory and procedural requirements and specifications.

2. Competent authority and oversight

2.1 Regulatory framework

All poultry farms are subject to the legal instrument entitled "On approval of veterinary and sanitary regulations for poultry farms and requirements for design thereof (Order No 53 dated 03.07.2001)". This legal document provides requirements for the construction and location of poultry rearing premises, including production cycles and cleaning and disinfection measures that need to be applied. The main laws, decrees, standards and ordinances that regulate meat inspection system and animal health controls are:

Conclusion:

The competent authority has a regulatory framework to ensure the development, planning and implementation of meat inspection systems and animal health controls.

2.2 Oversight framework

The SSUFSCP is the CCA in Ukraine. It is a National organization under the authority of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food that was created in 2015 (Resolution of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine no. 667/2015). It is the central executive authority and its activities are coordinated and directed by the Cabinet of Ministers through the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.

The SSUFSCP is part of the executive government and ensures the implementation of state policy in the field of veterinary medicine, product quality and food safety, animal identification and registration, seeds and plant breeding and sanitary legislation, plant protection, and compliance with sanitary requirements. The SSUFSCP is the central executive body that implements the state policies in the sphere of veterinary medicine, sanitary and epidemiological welfare of animal populations, and safety and quality parameters of food products. It includes the State Pharmacology Commission of Veterinary Medicine that represents and expert-advisory body on issues of regulation regarding the safe and efficient use of veterinary preparations, feed additives, premixes and finished feed, as well as their registration.

The headquarters of SSUFSCP is located in Kiev and oversees the activities of all Regional Competent Authorities (CA) and Local CA as well as institutions and organizations belonging to the management of SSUFSCP. It cooperates with local state administrations and local governments as well as enterprises, institutions and organizations during the execution of tasks. The Regional CA (RCA) represents the province-level representations of the SSUFSCP. There are 25 Regional offices that implement the activities of the SSUFSCP. These offices report to the central office of SSUFSCP. The Local CA (LCA) is the administration of SSUFSCP in districts or at the city level. There are 547 local offices in cities and districts that implement the activities of the SSUFSCP. The RCA and LCA are responsible to provide oversight at the commercial and backyard poultry farms, and poultry slaughter and processing establishments. The frequency of government oversight is risk based.

Conclusion:

The CA has a framework in place to ensure oversight of its meat inspection system and animal health controls at the national, regional and local level.

2.3 Training framework

The requirements for qualification and experience of personnel are determined by the normative documents regulating the order of performing activities and are reflected in job descriptions. Furthermore, job descriptions describe the functions, rights and responsibilities of a particular position, as well as a degree of responsibility entrusted to an employee in the performance of duties. The CA personnel receive basic public functionary training courses throughout their employment. Furthermore, the CA personnel receive mandatory training and continuing education for career growth and development every 5 years.

The CCA determines the training needs for veterinary specialists in regions following submissions by the RCA managers on a yearly basis. The CCA then approves the educational subjects selected and a plan is produced for the year. Every training activity has an examination at the end and certificates of course completion are issued. As audited, training of personnel was completed as per Ukrainian requirements.

Conclusion:

The central competent authority possesses a framework to train human resources involved in the planning, development and implementation of meat inspection systems and animal health controls.

2.4 Export controls

The food and feed exported from the Ukraine must comply with the relevant requirements of food law, unless otherwise requested by the authorities of the importing country or established by the laws, regulations, standards, codes of practice and other legal and administrative procedures as may be in force in the importing country.

In Ukraine, the RCA approves and revokes veterinary approval of the food business operator. The establishment interested to export products of animal origin to a third country shall apply to the RCA. The RCA forwards the application of the establishment to the LCA inspection staff. After the evaluation of the received application and documents, the LCA officials carry out an on-site inspection in the establishment and issue a report with a conclusion on the possibility to grant veterinary approval to the food handling business. Thereafter, the export conditions and the model veterinary certificate are negotiated with the importing country. The SSUFSCP maintains and updates the list of all establishments eligible to export to other countries.

The official veterinarian completes the export verification and certification. For each shipment, an official veterinarian is responsible to check the condition of trailer/conveyance, the condition of the product to be exported and the associated documents. An official veterinarian signs the certificate after confirming that the products meet the importing country's requirements. The system for the control of exports of poultry meat and meat products is capable of tracing products back to the slaughter establishments and farm of origin due to the presence of a live animal traceability that requires a permit to be obtained for any movement of live poultry, even to slaughter and also based on the presence of a recall program for animal products and by-products. The exported products can only be sourced from establishments operating under a vertically integrated system that meet the requirements of importing countries.

Conclusion:

Export controls and certification procedures are implemented to ensure that only eligible meat and meat products from approved establishments are exported to third countries including Canada.

2.5 Import controls

According to the law of Ukraine on veterinary medicine, State veterinary and sanitary control at the border is carried out by the RCAs of the SSUFSCP. The import of livestock and products of animal origin into Ukraine is allowed only through designated border inspection posts (BIPs). The SSUFSCP approves the list of products subject to state control at BIPs. The State veterinary inspector at the BIP carries out the inspection of livestock and products of animal origin imported into Ukraine. The inspection includes a documentary check, compliance assessment and physical examination.

At present, there are 6 RCAs with 1090 inspectors of veterinary medicine at 103 BIPs. At the first BIP, a check is completed by the veterinarian and a poultry movement certificate is issued. Thereafter, the shipment is allowed to move to the farm under a seal along with a veterinarian and a custom officer. At the farm, the seal is opened by the veterinarian and custom officer. Live poultry is subjected to quarantine (21 days) during which clinical examination and vaccinations are carried out at the farm in accordance with Ukrainian requirements and only hatching eggs and day-old chicks are allowed to be imported into Ukraine. For each batch of imported hatching eggs or day-old chicks, samples are selected in accordance with standards of selection and sent for necessary laboratory diagnostic testing. At the audited BIP, import procedures were followed as per the requirements. However, the CFIA was unable to verify the procedures for rejected shipments due to lack of non-compliance incidence at the audited BIP.

Conclusion:

Import controls are implemented to ensure the importation of only eligible meat and meat products to Ukraine. However, the CFIA was unable to verify the procedures for rejected shipments due to lack of non-compliance incidence at the audited BIP.

2.6 Enforcement framework

Non-compliances and infringements are identified at the time of the continuous or planned/periodic, official veterinary controls. Measures to identify any irregularities or infringements are applied in accordance with the Law of Ukraine on State Control over Compliance with Legislation on Food, Feed, Animal By-products, Animal Health and Welfare. The SSUFSCP has common operating procedures describing enforcement measures related to food safety and animal health. The range of actions varies according to severity of the deficiency or infringement which includes the request for corrective action, the setting deadlines, the fines, the suspension of activities and the suspension of approval or withdrawal of approval. Additional actions in the event of regulatory non-compliance included destroying of unsafe animal products and safe disposal, and restriction on processing or placing of animal products on market.

Conclusion:

Legal authority, policies and procedures are in place to ensure enforcement actions in response to non-compliances related to food safety and animal health as per the Law of Ukraine on State Control over Compliance with Legislation on Food, Feed, Animal By-products, Animal Health and Welfare.

2.7 Laboratory framework

The State Scientific and Research Institute of Laboratory Diagnostics and Veterinary and Sanitary Expertise (SSRILDVSE) is a reference center and the state research institute of the SSUFSCP. The SSRILDVSE is responsible to carry out laboratory diagnostics and identification of animal diseases, veterinary and sanitary examination of animal origin products and food. Furthermore, it provides methodological support to state laboratories of veterinary medicine. At the regional level, there are 23 regional and 142 regional state laboratories that conduct screening tests for HPAI and ND, chemical residues and microbial organisms. Currently, confirmatory testing is only performed at the SSRILDVSE. The SSRILDVSE and all regional laboratories are accredited by the National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine (NAAU) in accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2006.

At the laboratories visited during this audit, management and technical requirements were assessed. Management requirements included organization, quality management, document controls, control of non-conforming testing, and internal audit. Technical requirements included personnel, accommodation and environmental conditions, test methods and methods for validation, handling of test items, quality of test methods and reporting of results. Samples are collected and delivered to the laboratory by trained Government Veterinarians. All laboratories use Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to track samples. The LIMS was introduced for sample identification and registration, inter-laboratory transfer and reporting.

Furthermore, the SSRILDVSE and the regional laboratories are capable of processing surveillance samples for HPAI and ND and chemical residue in a timely manner and sufficient resources are available to meet the demand of enhanced testing during disease outbreaks.

Conclusion:

The SSUFSCP has laboratory infrastructure to perform microbiological and chemical residue testing for meat and meat products and poultry disease diagnostic testing.

3. Ante-mortem, humane handling and animal welfare controls

3.1 Traceability and animal identification

All movements of poultry in Ukraine must by law be accompanied by an animal transit document which includes species, age, number of animals, individual identification numbers where applicable, premises of origin, premises of destination, purpose of movement, vaccination history where applicable, and authority of the issuer. The animal transit document is issued by state veterinarians and must accompany each lot of poultry during transport to the slaughter establishment. The poultry production system in Ukraine intended for export meat and meat products is vertically integrated from farm to fork.

As verified during the audit, the birds were adequately identified at their arrival at the slaughterhouse by an accompanying flock document with a unique farm identifier issued by the state veterinarian. The accompanying document included a declaration of origin (code of the farm, address, owner), number/type of animals, identification of the transporter, list of veterinary drugs used (dosage, number of days of treatment, withdrawal period) and the health certification signed by an official veterinarian. Movement procedures and documentation for poultry and poultry products are followed as per the requirements.

Law of Ukraine on "Basis Principles and Requirements for Safety and Quality of Food Products" requires developing and maintaining a traceability system at every level of the food chain. Food business operators are required to develop a recall plan which equips them to recall and withdraw a product that does not meet regulatory requirements. At the establishments visited, a recall plan was implemented as per requirements and a yearly mock recall was completed.

Conclusion:

A well-established and harmonised identification system is in place to ensure the traceability of live poultry, and meat and meat products.

3.2 Ante-mortem inspection

Ante-mortem inspection of poultry is completed as per the Ukraine's rules of ante-mortem inspection of animals and veterinary-sanitary examination of meat and meat products. Each truckload of poultry arriving at an audited establishment was verified to arrive with an animal transport document and a poultry health document. All birds were inspected at the farm of origin by the state veterinarian. The poultry health document is generated by the state veterinarian at the farm of origin and includes information about illness, mortality, and Salmonella testing results, and medications used and withdrawal times. The poultry health document is valid for 72 hours. Ante mortem inspection is carried out by the state veterinarian at the slaughter establishment by visual inspection as the trucks are unloaded and within 24 hours prior to the slaughter. Furthermore, state veterinarian monitored temperature of randomly selected birds from each load. If there is a high rate of dead birds at arrival, necropsies and testing for Notifiable Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle Disease (ND) are carried out, and the state animal health authority is notified to begin disease response activities at the farm of origin.

Conclusion:

Ante-mortem inspection was completed as per the Ukraine's rules of ante-mortem inspection of animals and veterinary-sanitary examination of meat and meat products and meets Canadian requirements.

3.3 Humane handling and animal welfare

All the establishments audited had an animal welfare program including animal receiving, manipulation, stunning and bleeding procedures and the monitoring of those procedures. As observed, the operators control and monitor the animal welfare during transportation, at stunning and at the bleeding area.

At the time of ante-mortem inspection, the official veterinarian inspects animals for any signs of compromised welfare. The methods for stunning of birds include use of electrocution prior to bleeding. The competent authority verifies animal welfare at slaughter via ante-mortem inspection and stunning and bleeding checks.

Conclusion:

Animal welfare program and associated official controls were implemented as per the Law of Ukraine on protection of animals from cruelty.

4. Slaughter and post-mortem

According to Law of Ukraine "On basic principles and requirements for safety and quality of food products" post-mortem inspection is performed by the trained state veterinarians that must be present onsite at the time of slaughter. The state veterinarians at online stations (number of stations may vary) complete post-mortem inspection in a traditional way and check each carcass and associated viscera by means of observation, palpation, sense of smell and incisions when necessary. Inspection of the poultry cavity was at the discretion of the state veterinarian performing post-mortem inspection. No written guidance was available for state veterinarians to decide when to inspect poultry cavities during post-mortem inspection.

Furthermore, finished products standards for raw poultry meat were not established. As per the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations 125, meat products must be free of any contamination. The contamination is defined as any micro-organism, chemical substance, extraneous material or other substance or thing that may render the food injurious to human health or unsuitable for human consumption, including those that are not permitted under the Food and Drugs Act or those that do not comply with any limits or levels provided under that Act. Furthermore, Safe Food for Canadians Regulations [145 (1)(b)], the operator must remove feathers, head, uropygeal gland and feet from poultry carcasses. If an establishment decides not to remove feet and heads, procedures must be implemented to ensure that these are free from disease and visible contamination. Carcasses with oil glands must be labelled as such.

In Canada, imported meat and meat products are subjected to routine organoleptic inspection to ensure that it meets Canadian requirements.

Conclusion:

Post-mortem inspection for poultry was completed as per Law of Ukraine "On basic principles and requirements for safety and quality of food products". However, Inspection of the poultry cavity was based on the discretion of state veterinarians performing post-mortem inspection. No written guidance was available for state veterinarian to decide when to inspect poultry cavities during post-mortem inspection.

Furthermore, finished products standards for raw poultry meat were not established.

5. Processing controls

5.1 Chilling/freezing and cooking controls

Chilled meat is defined as meat exposed to a cooling process and maintained at a temperature between -1°C to 4°C in the center of the muscle mass. Frozen meat is defined as the meat exposed to the action of industrial cooling until the center of the muscle mass reaches a temperature not exceeding -18° C, which must be maintained during the storage and distribution chain. The operator controls the temperature of the product at the exit of the freezer as a control point. At the audited establishments, chilling and freezing controls were implemented as required.

Meat and meat products were cooked to a minimum of 72 °C. After cooking, meat and meat products were immediately frozen to reach the temperature of -18° C.

Conclusion:

Chilling and freezing controls were implemented as per Law of Ukraine On Basic Principles and Requirements for Safety and Quality of Food Products and meets Canadian requirements.

5.2 Retained water control program

Regulatory requirements prescribes that establishments shall write and validate a retained water control protocol for water which is absorbed and retained as a result of the post-evisceration process for poultry carcasses and parts. As audited, the poultry slaughter establishment has implemented retained water control program as per regulatory requirements.

Conclusion:

The retained water control program was validated and implemented at poultry slaughter establishments and meets Canadian requirements.

5.3 Allergen control program

All establishments intending to export meat and meat products to Canada must implement an allergen control program to include all Canadian priority food allergens.

As per Ukrainian requirements, any ingredient or processing aid derived from a substance or product causing allergies or intolerances used in the manufacture or preparation of a food and still present in the finished product shall be declared by the food business operator. Audited slaughter establishments didn't use allergens, therefore an allergen control program was not implemented. At the audited processing establishments, an allergen control program was implemented as per the regulatory requirements and included all Canadian priority food allergens.

Conclusion:

A written and validated allergen control program was implemented as per Ukrainian requirements at the audited processing establishment and the program contained all Canadian priority food allergens.

All establishments intending to export meat and meat products to Canada must implement an allergen control program to include all Canadian priority food allergens.

6. Preventive control plans (PCP)

The application of PCP is a mandatory requirement for all establishments according to the Law of Ukraine "On the safety and quality of food products".

As audited, establishments implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on HACCP principles. Using checklists, the competent authority verifies the implementation of PCP. No deficiencies in the development, implementation and maintenance of PCP were noted.

Conclusion:

The Preventive control plans were implemented as per the Law of Ukraine "On the safety and quality of food products" and meets Canadian requirements.

7. Microbiological controls

Microbiological controls were implemented as per Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine of 19 July 2012 No 548 on "Approval of microbiological criteria for establishing food safety indicators". This order was developed based on the requirements outlined in the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2073/2005. At slaughter establishments, raw poultry carcasses were tested for Salmonella, Campylobacter and Enterobacteriaceae as an EU export requirement. All slaughter establishments intending to export meat and meat products to Canada must implement a pathogen reduction program as per Canadian requirements.

The Ukrainian establishment may meet these requirements by performing microbiological sampling and testing as per EU requirements.

Every batch of finished poultry meat and meat products was tested for total bacterial count, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes as an EU export requirement. All establishments intending to export frozen raw breaded chicken and RTE meat products to Canada must implement the microbiological control program for Salmonella and L. monocytogenes as per Canadian requirements.

Ukrainian establishment may meet these requirements by testing each batch of finished poultry meat products for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

Conclusion:

Microbiological sampling and testing was performed as per as per Order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine of 19 July 2012 No 548 on "Approval of microbiological criteria for establishing food safety indicators". All slaughter and processing establishments intending to export meat and meat products to Canada must implement the microbiological control program as per above described Canadian requirements.

8. Chemical residue controls

Pursuant to Laws of Ukraine of Ukraine "On Basic Principles and Requirements for Safety and Quality of Food Products" and "On veterinary medicine," and in accordance with the international requirements, including EU Directive 96/23/EC for the farm population eligible for export to the EU. A state plan to monitor residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants residues in chicken, turkey, and geese meat, including Liver and Chicken Eggs is developed and implemented annually.

The SSUFSCP is the central competent authority for the residue control in Ukraine and develops the annual program. The RCA carry out sampling and submission of samples to laboratories as per the plan. The RCA prepare reports for the CCA and carry out inspections in order to find out causes of non-compliances, and take actions to restrict marketing of the products that do not comply with requirements. In the case of a non-compliant testing result, the testing laboratory informs the CCA and RCA that had dispatched the sample for testing. The RCA performs the investigation of the case, takes necessary measures and reports to the CCA, which is responsible for the coordination and supervision. The CFIA noted that there is no central data storage system for the management of chemical residue surveillance data and surveillance reports are consolidated by the central laboratory and sent to the CCA. Furthermore, in order to properly assess Ukraine's surveillance program for chemical residue hazards, the list of approved substances and information regarding off-label drugs is required.

In Canada, imported meat products are subjected to routine monitoring for chemical residues. The results are assessed and must comply with Canadian maximum residue limits.

Conclusion:

The SSUFSCP developed and implemented a risk-based chemical residue control program as per the Laws of Ukraine "On Basic Principles and Requirements for Safety and Quality of Food Products" and "On veterinary medicine" and in accordance with the EU Directive 96/23. However, in order to properly assess Ukraine's surveillance program for chemical residue hazards, the list of approved substances and information regarding off-label drugs is required.

9. Animal health processes and controls

The main laws governing animal health controls is the Law of Ukraine of Veterinary Medicine, Law of Ukraine on Food Safety, and Law of Ukraine on State Control over the Compliance with Legislation in the Field of Food Safety, Feeds, Animal By-products, Animal Health and Welfare.

Registration of all poultry establishments (includes farms, markets, hatcheries, and poultry slaughter and processing facilities) is required under Articles 23 and 25 of the Law of Ukraine On Basic Principles and Requirements for Safety and Quality of Food Products and Order No. 39 of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. The registration includes location and address of the establishment, name of establishment and operator, name of poultry owner, poultry species, production type, number of birds, and any other relevant information. Backyard poultry farms are registered with their relevant LCA. The registry includes the name and location of the owner, contact information, types of poultry species kept on the premises, and the number of poultry. The CCA maintains the registry for commercial poultry farms whereas the registry for backyard farms is primarily maintained and updated by the State veterinary inspector at the LCA.

The veterinary and sanitary requirements for poultry keeping in individual farms, approved by the Order of the State Department of Veterinary Medicine of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine of December 19, 2006, No. 100, registered with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on January 19, 2007 for No. 42/13309, entitled "On approval of veterinary-and-sanitary requirements for poultry keeping at backyard farms" provide minimum standards of biosecurity to be respected by poultry owners in private farms, recommendations for keeping poultry, as well as requirements that must be met by owners of poultry in order to prevent the entry of infectious diseases. As audited, biosecurity measures were implemented as per the regulatory requirements.

Avian influenza vaccination is prohibited in Ukraine and vaccination for ND is performed twice per year. The system for influenza surveillance in Ukraine is based on active and passive surveillance using clinical, serological, virological, molecular methods. The details for active and passive surveillance for HPAI and ND in Ukraine are outlined in the "State plan for monitoring of infectious diseases of poultry in Ukraine". This plan is developed each year taking into account the target species, risk assessment and identified high risk areas regarding the possible occurrence of HPAI and ND. For HPAI, the surveillance plan is designed in accordance with the requirements of Commission Decision 2010/367/EC of June 25, 2010 "on the implementation by Member States of surveillance programs for avian influenza in poultry and wild birds". For ND, the plan is based on and Directive 92/66/EEC of 14 July 1992 (introducing community measures for the control of Newcastle disease) - Official Journal of the European Communities.

Serological monitoring for avian influenza at commercial establishments and backyard farms is conducted using Haemagglutination Inhibition (HI) and when antibodies to the influenza virus are detected, swab samples are tested by PCR. Thereafter, virus isolation is completed in response to positive PCR results. The state monitoring plan includes commercial poultry, backyard, wild and synanthropic birds as per the plan outlined below:

Table 2. avian Influenza surveillance results for 2018 and first quarter of 2019
Type of birds Number of samples Results
Commercial poultry farms 55930 All negative
Backyard farms 78012 All negative
Synanthropic birds 1048 All negative
Migratory birds 3258 All negative
Zoo birds 156 All negative

Additionally, ND surveillance focused on adequate flock immunity in response to mandatory vaccination of all commercial poultry and backyard poultry is performed. The samples are collected as per following schedule:

Table 3. sample collection criteria for ND surveillance
Commercial poultry

10 samples from each poultry house are taken twice yearly at 14-21 days post-vaccination to determine the level of flock immunity

For large broiler holdings, 25 blood samples are collected from each site (brigade) per production cycle (5-6 cycles per year).

Backyard poultry 20 – 30 samples are collected from each settlement twice per year 14-21 days post vaccination to determine the level of flock immunity

As audited, 100% of villages from areas where export facilities to EU are located are sampled and tested with up to 60 samples being taken from 1 settlement if and when required. The surveillance sampling at the audited commercial and backyard farm was completed as per the requirements.

The SSUFSCP has a standard operating procedure to handle suspect HPAI cases as per "Action Plan in Case of Suspicion of Poultry for HPAI". In response to the suspect cases, the state veterinary inspector collects and submits diagnostic samples, and imposes a temporary quarantine, and completes an epidemiological investigation. If a notifiable disease is confirmed, a permanent quarantine is imposed by the State Emergency Anti-epizootic Commission (SEAC), establishing the protection zone (3 km) and the surveillance zone (10 km) taking into account the number of poultry at each farm, location and distance of farms in the area, movement of poultry and poultry products, results of epidemiological investigation, and natural geographical boundaries such as rivers, lakes, mountain ranges. Depopulation, cleaning and disinfection of affected premises, daily clinical inspections and surveillance are carried out in accordance with the approved eradication plan. The quarantine is lifted after confirmation of outbreak eradication. Based on the document review, it was concluded that avian influenza eradication plan was successfully implemented in response to previous HPAI outbreaks.

In-depth poultry diseases surveillance evaluation from 2016 to 2018 concluded that likelihood of Ukraine currently being free of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle Disease (ND) is high. Lack of compliance for HPAI surveillance targets in 2016-2017 was mainly attributed to the issue of diagnostic kits procurement. However, as verified during the onsite audit, appropriate corrective actions were taken to prevent the recurrence of this issue. In addition, given the Ukraine's reporting history to the OIE and detection mechanisms in place through the import-and-transit quarantine procedures, the passive and active surveillance in place for HPAI and ND, the mandatory reporting of clinical signs of HPAI and ND and the implementation of ante-mortem and post-mortem procedures, it is likely that Ukraine remains free of HPAI and ND in 2019 and an introduction of HPAI or ND would be detected in a timely fashion. Regions of Crimea and Oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk were not in scope of the in-depth disease surveillance evaluation. Based on the disease surveillance evaluation findings, it is recommended that live birds for the production of poultry meat and meat products for export to Canada must be sourced from vertically integrated and EU eligible farms.

The auditors noted that the absence of compensation system for significant losses associated with an outbreak of HPAI in commercial establishments does not encourage notification of suspicions and undermines the operations of surveillance for early detection of the disease.

Conclusions:

HPAI and ND prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, control and eradication was completed as per the Ukrainian regulatory requirements and EU Directives for HPAI surveillance. Furthermore, in-depth poultry diseases surveillance evaluation from 2016 to 2018 concluded that likelihood of Ukraine currently being free of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle Disease (ND) is high.

Poultry production system in Ukraine intended for export meat and meat products is vertically integrated from farm to fork.

The CFIA noted absence of compensation system for significant losses associated with an outbreak of HPAI at commercial establishments.

10. Closing meeting

The closing meeting was held in Kyiv with representatives from SSUFSCP and on May 24, 2019. At the meeting, a summary of the preliminary findings from the audit were presented by the CFIA lead auditor.

11. Conclusions

Overall, the audit results showed that animal health controls and meat inspection system governing the production of poultry meat and meat products under the vertically integrated and EU eligible system in Ukraine are performing in an adequate manner. The SSUFSC has well established legal authority sufficient to carry out animal health programs, eradication and quarantine activities for HPAI and ND. Furthermore, in-depth poultry diseases surveillance evaluation from 2016 to 2018 concluded that likelihood of Ukraine currently being free of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Newcastle Disease (ND) is high.

Following the review of action plan provided by competent authority, the CFIA determined that Ukraine's meat inspection system governing the production of poultry meat and meat products under the vertically integrated and EU eligible system are performing in an adequate manner and meet Canadian requirements.

12. Recommendations

The recommendations are linked to the specific conclusions made during this report.

CFIA recommendations SSUFSCP actions plans/comments
The CFIA requests that competent authority provides procedures to be followed in response to the rejected shipments at BIP.

The handling of goods imported (shipped) into the customs territory of Ukraine that do not comply with the legislation of Ukraine is regulated by Article 54 of the Law of Ukraine "On State Control over Compliance with the Legislation on Food, Feed, Animal By-Products, Animal Health and Welfare" (hereinafter - Article 54) https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/2042-19.

State veterinary inspector detains goods that do not comply with the law and takes the following measures:

  1. checks whether the cargo does not pose a threat to human and/ or animal health;
  2. decides on the destruction or modification of the intended use of relevant products, food products of non-animal origin or feed of non-animal origin, application in case of need of special treatment in accordance with part 7 of this article or return (export) of goods to the exporting country (another country).

The cargo, depending on the decision on detention has been made shall be under the supervision of the state veterinary inspector until the moment of its return (export), destruction or obtaining a permit for release for free circulation.

The CFIA recommends that written guidance is available for official veterinarian or technician to decide when to examine or not to examine the cavity of poultry carcasses.

Order of the State department of veterinary medicine of Ukraine of June 7, 2002 No 28 "On approval of the Rules of pre-slaughter veterinary inspection of animals and veterinary sanitary examination of meat and meat products" https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/ z0524-02, it is determined that the slaughterhouses are equipped with workplaces - veterinary examination points (hereinafter - VSE points) for veterinary examination of carcasses, including poultry carcasses, and other slaughter products.

In order to implement the recommendations provided by the CFIA based on the results of the audit, the Chief state veterinary inspector of Ukraine issued an Order (from 25.05.2020 No 41) on approval of "Guidelines for state veterinary inspectors and market operators intending to export poultry meat and products thereof to Canada" in terms of post-mortem inspection and hygiene requirements, which approved the guidelines for official (authorized) veterinarians and market operators working at poultry meat establishments intended for export to Canada. These recommendations include, herewith, Canada's specific requirements for instructions for post-mortem inspection of poultry carcasses.

  • The CFIA recommends implementing procedures to ensure that poultry meat and meat products are free of contamination as required by section 125 of SFCR.
  • Implementing procedures to ensure feathers, head, uropygeal gland and feet are removed from poultry carcass. If an establishment decides not to remove feet and heads, procedures must be implemented to ensure that these are free from disease and visible contamination. Carcasses with oil glands must be labelled as such.
In order to implement the recommendations provided by the CFIA based on the results of the audit, the Chief state veterinary inspector of Ukraine issued an Order (from 25.05.2020 No 41) of on approval "Guidelines for state veterinary inspectors and market operators intending to export poultry meat and products thereof to Canada", in terms of post-mortem inspection and hygiene requirements ", which approved the guidelines for official (authorized) veterinarians and market operators working in poultry meat establishments intended for export to Canada. These recommendations include, inter alia, Canada's specific requirements for post-mortem inspection of poultry, taking into account the provisions of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.
The CFIA recommends that:
  • All slaughter establishments intend to export meat and meat products to Canada must implement a pathogen reduction program as per Canadian requirements.
  • All processing establishments intend to export frozen raw breaded chicken and RTE meat products to Canada must implement the microbiological control program program for Salmonella and L. monocytogenes as per Canadian requirements.

In order to implement the recommendations provided by the CFIA based on the results of the audit, the Chief State Veterinary Inspector of Ukraine issued an Order (from 25.05.2020 No 41) on approval of "Guidelines for state veterinary inspectors and market operators intending to export poultry meat and products thereof to Canada", which approved guidelines for official (authorized) veterinarians working in poultry meat establishments intended for export to Canada.

These recommendations include, herewith, Canada's specific requirements for a bacterial load reduction program and a microbiological control program for Salmonella and L. monocytogenes, taking into account the provisions of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

The CFIA recommends that adequate mechanisms are in place to encourage notification of suspicions of HPAI at commercial establishments/farms.

In order to motivate the owners of commercial poultry farms to report suspicions of HPAI, SSUFSCP takes measures to amend the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of 31.10.2012 No 1003, which approved the Procedure for compensation for property damage (losses) caused to persons as a result of quarantine (quarantine restrictions) of animals or due to the procedures and works to eliminate especially dangerous (quarantine) diseases, which determines the conditions of compensation for property damage (losses) caused to individuals and legal entities as a result of the introduction of quarantine, in terms of simplification of procedures for obtaining compensation by owners of commercial poultry farms in case of HPAI.

Update August 03, 2020: No changes to current legislation has been made yet (Decree of CMU No 1003).

Update October 13, 2020: Provided plan to update the current legislation.

The CFIA recommends implementing a central data storage system for the management of chemical residue surveillance data.

The CFIA requests SSUFSCP to provide the list of approved substances for poultry and information regarding off-label drugs usage.

In accordance with the requirements of the legislation on food, feed, animal by-products, animal health and welfare, Ukraine has created a National database of laboratory research results (tests) conducted by state laboratories of SSUFSCP.

Access to the National Database of Laboratory Test Results is carried out via the Internet with the provision of confidentiality of information.

The National Database of Results of Laboratory Research (tests) receives the results of laboratory research (tests) conducted by laboratories for the purpose of state control or execution of orders (provision of services for laboratory research (tests)).

The Laboratory Information System (LIMS) allows you to track the sample from the moment of receipt to the relevant authorized laboratory to receive reports on the results of laboratory researches (tests), as well as provides storage of this information.

According to Article 67 of the Law of Ukraine "On veterinary medicine" in Ukraine allowed the circulation of only registered veterinary drugs. That is, veterinary drugs that have passed state registration, and for their circulation and use in Ukraine are included in the Register of Veterinary Drugs.

The Order of the Chief State Inspector of Veterinary Medicine of Ukraine dated 04.03.2002 No 15 provides for a ban on the use of veterinary drugs for productive animals and poultry, which contain the following active substances: nitrofurans, including furazolidone; ronidazole; dapsone; chloramphenicol (chloramphenicol); dimetridazole; colchicine; chlorpromazine; chloroform; metronidazole. The order also prohibits the use of drugs, including premixes and feed additives containing antibiotics, to accelerate growth and increase the productivity of animals and poultry.

In veterinary practice, registered veterinary drugs are used, which contain the following substances that are approved for use only for the treatment of poultry diseases in Ukraine:

Antimicrobial substances approved for use in the treatment of poultry diseases in Ukraine:

  1. Amoxicillin
  2. Doxycycline
  3. Colistin
  4. Flumequine
  5. Fluorophenicol
  6. Thiamulin hydrogen fumorate
  7. Sulfanilamides + trimethoprim
  8. Tilmicosin
  9. Spectinomycin sulfate
  10. Virginiamycin
  11. Enrofloxacin
  12. Avilamycin
  13. Tylosin tartrate
  14. Oxytetracycline
  15. Neomycin sulfate
  16. Ampicillin trihydrate
  17. Lincomycin hydrochloride
  18. Spectinomycin sulfate
  19. Apramycin sulfate
  20. Chlortetracycline hydrochloride

The list of veterinary drugs that contain these substances can be found on the official website of the State Food and Consumer Service: http://www.consumer.gov.ua/ContentPages/Reestri/38/.

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