A Regulated Control scheme (RCS) for deer velvet came into effect from 7 August 2017.
The purpose of the RCS is to identify a minimum set of standards required for the on-farm collection, handling, storage and transport of deer velvet for export covered by an official assurance to certain countries, but principally China.
All consignments of deer velvet intended for export must be accompanied by a velvet status declaration (VSD). The VSD is a declaration that the velvet described on the declaration was collected etc. in accordance with the RCS requirements.
In order to demonstrate compliance with the RCS standard to overseas authorities the farms of origin are to be audited by a recognised class of persons or MPI itself. The National Velvet Standards Body (NVSB) meets the criteria for a recognised class of persons and is undertaking the bulk of the RCS audits.
All suppliers of velvet potentially for export will be audited against the standards in the RCS. Initial audits will take place during the period 2017 to 2020. In order to be eligible for an official assurance for export of deer velvet the supplier of the velvet must:
- Be audited against the RCS standards by a recognised body.
- Address any non-conformance noted as a result of an audit in the time frame allowed.
Veterinarians harvesting velvet for clients where the velvet is intended for export should be aware of the requirements of the RCS, although it is not the duty of the veterinarian conducting the procedure to address the requirements or to ensure that they are audited. The responsibility to comply with the requirements lies with the person-in-charge who signs the VSD. However, the veterinarian may advise their client to:
- Ensure that they are included in the RCS audit programme
- Comply with the RCS specifications.
In order to ensure that they are included in the audit programme the velvet supplier may contact either the NVSB at 04 4734500 or MPI at Nadia.Vather@mpi.govt.nz