Concerns about food security have led the European Union to ban the export of Moroccan poultry products to Europe.
The announcement follows audits of Moroccan veterinary services by the National Office for the Sanitary Safety of Food Products (ONSSA) in March and September
The latest audit focused on evaluating plans for monitoring residue of veterinary drugs, pesticides and environmental contaminants, assessing their implementation. It included visits to broiler and turkey farms, poultry slaughterhouses and processing plants and private vet clinics.
The Moroccan daily l’Economiste, revealed that Moroccan poultry farms would pose “threats” to the food security of European consumers due to the presence of contagious poultry diseases such as Newcastle Disease and avian influenza.
It also reported that the EU was concerned that ONSSA only had 1 laboratory in the country – Casablanca – that was suitable for detecting poultry diseases.
The EU testing committee, which scrutinised the report, note other anomalies concerning hygiene conditions in slaughterhouses and across the distribution chain. Breeders were also unable to trace the origin of poultry.
The report said: “Conditions are not fully met for sanitary certification of livestock farms producing poultry met to be exported to the EU market.”
ONSSA has been asked to remedy deficiencies and implement actions necessary to meet the EU export requirements. Further inspections are expected in December.
Morocco sold 525,000 metric tons (mt) of broiler meat and 90,000 mt of turkey in 2015, according to government sources.