Economy, Domestic Economy

Buffalo Meat Only for Food Processing Industries

Buffalo Meat Only for Food Processing IndustriesBuffalo Meat Only for Food Processing Industries

Iran Veterinary Organization (IVO) has issued import licenses for Indian buffalo meat to industrial food processing units only and wrongdoers who have let raw buffalo meat directly into the market have been prosecuted, said the head of IVO on Sunday, as reported by ISNA.

Mahdi Khalaj made the remarks amid controversies over imports of Indian buffalo meat, which some argue could be infected with Sarcocystis parasite and lead to mad cow disease. Critics believe that the meat finding its way into household consumption may pose health risks to the society.

“In order to avoid potential health issues, it would be ideal if meat imports come to an end altogether,” said the official, yet 10 percent of Iran’s 800,000 metric tons of annual red meat consumption is supplied through imports. Brazil and Australia are the most common sources of Iran’s red meat imports. India holds a small share in Iran’s market.

Over the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20) the government has reduced meat imports from India to the lowest level; nevertheless, after adequate scientific studies, IVO approved that a limited annual amount could be imported from India, only for the purpose of producing heated meat products such as sausages and hamburgers.

Import limits however are still in place. “The government has not issued any licenses in the current Iranian year (started March 21),” said director general of agriculture ministry’s provincial affairs, Mahmoud Fattah on Saturday.

 Health Inspection

To ensure that the meat is used only for industrial purposes, supervising organizations in the ministry of health and IVO have long eyed the meat consumption process.

General manager of IVO’s directorate of supervision over public health, Abbas Abbasi, noted on Tuesday that supervisors have examined randomly selected minced meat samples from markets and warehouses across the country and have identified and collected those blended with imported Indian buffalo meat. Accordingly, the violators have been fined and their activities banned, IRNA reported.

Moreover, the official added that there are no restrictions regarding the consumption of domestically-produced buffalo meat. Some 32,000 buffalos have been slaughtered inside the country under the supervision of IVO and entered the market over the past Iranian calendar year. Iran has set strict health standards for the domestic red meat production process.