Oct 11, 2022
The velvet season is now upon us and DINZ has a few reminders for velvetters to help make things go smoothly for everyone involved.
- NVSB fees need to be paid promptly and by 20 November at the latest.
- Annual supervisory visit (consultation for mechanical block only) must be completed by December 15.
- Return completed drug records and any unused drugs to supervising vets no later than 31 March.
“We need to show that we are compliant with all aspects of the NVSB programme, including the administrative ones,” says DINZ general manager QA Rob Gregory.
Practical reminders include velvetters giving stags enough time to settle after yarding, to minimise stress, and applying a tourniquet to the pedicles before administering any local anaesthetic to stags, along with practising good needle and drug hygiene at all times and updating themselves on the NVSB Manual requirements.
“Most of the points are common sense, but it is worth remembering that MPI now regularly tests velvet for drug residues, which is why keeping stags calm and good tourniquet practises are so important,” says Gregory.
“In addition, farmers need to ensure that they are following the appropriate withholding periods for all chemicals that deer may have been exposed to, including going beyond the 90-day default if there is any possibility that they may have come into contact with Vertebrate Toxic Agents. This is because failing to manage animals [and animal products] to ensure they are fit for processing, is an offence under the Animal Products Act.”
Regulatory requirements mean, among other things, deer sheds must be kept clean at all times when velveting, that velvet removal instruments are disinfected between stags and that freezers used to store velvet maintain a minimum ambient temperature of -15°C, or lower.
“You need to login in to VelTrak to check your business details, including your veterinary practice are correct, and that all velvet intended for human consumption is tagged with official VelTrak tags,” he notes.
Only registered veterinarians or certified velvetters are legally allowed to remove deer velvet and use VelTrak tags. If you are not certified to remove deer velvet or have a deer shed that needs auditing for compliance with the RCS, please contact DINZ on 04 473 4500.