Russia to renew kangaroo meat imports after three year ban

12 DEC 2012: After a complete three year ban on the import of kangaroo meat due to serious health breaches, Russia has reportedly reached an agreement with Australia’s largest kangaroo meat processor, Macro Meats, to renew imports.

However, leaked documents between Macro Meats and its kangaroo shooters have revealed that shooters have been ordered to spray all kangaroo carcasses with acid in an attempt to combat controversial contamination issues.

The Russian government announced a total ban on importing kangaroo meat in 2009 after systematic food safety and hygiene violations were found within the industry. Russia had previously accounted for about 76% of Australia’s kangaroo meat exports.

Russian delegates examined kangaroo meat processing recently in a three week visit to Australia. Wildlife Protection Association of Australia has now revealed that in the months leading up to the visit, Macro Meats ordered its shooters to spray the carcasses with acetic acid, despite stating on its website that its “kangaroo meat is completely free from antibiotics, chemicals, growth hormones or any artificial intervention”. Spokesperson Mark Pearson stated that Russian delegation left Australia with the “last minute revelation that they had been deceived by industry with misleading reports about hygiene and contamination control.”

Acetic acid is used in the preparation of numerous topical medications including wart removal, in ear drops, as an expectorant, liniment and astringent. The Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities states that acetic acid is also used in the manufacturing of a number of chemical compounds, plastics, pharmaceuticals, dyes, insecticides, photographic chemicals, vitamins, antibiotics, cosmetics and hormones among other uses.

The Government warns that when acetic acid is ingested it “may cause severe corrosion of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, leading to vomiting, diarrhoea, circulatory collapse, kidney failure and death.”

This happens also in spite of the expose shown on Lateline this year of the high levels of contamination and E. Coli being present in supermarket samples of kangaroo meat purchased by Animal Liberation activists. See here.

WLPA and other animal welfare groups are stunned by this turn of events and remain deeply concerned over how far an industry will go to deceive consumers in an attempt to revive a cruel and out dated practice.