Td 02/124 Procedures For Cattle From Properties On The Taenia Saginata Disease Surveillance Suspect List

Technical Directive

Meat Technical Directive    Priority:  Urgent
Contact for Queries: Judi Lee Assistant Director (Programme Development)    File:  M300-100
Date: 20 December 2002 (1)     Publication Ref: Man 16




Manual 16 Part 2, Part 4, Appendix 3

Regulation 123 of the Meat Regulations 1969

T. saginata Programme - Management Plan Guidelines



This TD contains the procedures that shall be followed for cattle to be slaughtered from properties on the disease surveillance Suspect List. The purpose of these procedures is to reduce the risk of human infection as much as practically possible and to protect ongoing access to overseas markets in a cost-effective manner. It should be noted that an equivalence submission regarding routine T. saginata procedures has been made to the USA and Canada and the requirement to routinely incise the masseter muscles for these markets is likely to be cancelled shortly.

The specification below applies to farms that have animals that are suspected of being infected with T. saginata. A farm will remain on the Suspect List until an epidemiological investigation and the slaughter results indicate that it is unlikely that any animals are left that are infected with T. saginata.

In some cases there may be a presumption that the source of infection was present for a limited time only. If so, the absence of infection on post-mortem inspection in 350 slaughtered animals, introduced after the presumed period of the epidemic, is required before the suspect status is removed, unless available information clearly shows the farm no longer has infected cattle.




In order to identify animals with a possible T. saginata infection in the slaughterhouse yards, such properties will be placed on the NZFSA disease surveillance Suspect List.

The Assistant Director (Monitoring and Review) will notify the owner or manager of the cattle of their status and the owner or manager of their obligations.

When intending to send cattle to slaughter, the owner or manager of the cattle on the suspect will notify the processor and MAF VA at the premises that the cattle are suspect for T. saginata. This notification will be at least 7 days prior to sending the cattle for slaughter.

MAF VA will immediately notify Asure.


Since the product from the suspect lines needs to be frozen at -12o C for a minimum of 20 days, the cattle must be sent to slaughterhouses that are able to freeze product.

A number of domestic abattoirs are not able to freeze. Alternative procedures such as inspecting at one slaughterhouse and freezing at another licensed premises may be approved. Another option is heat-treatment of product. If any of these is intended, the MAF VA Technical Manager is to be contacted with details of the proposal.

The product shall be detained under MAF VA and/or Asure control. This is a general requirement.




The following procedures are the current inspection procedures (NZ standard) and are described here for clarity since they play an important role in the inspection for T. saginata. See Manual 12 for overseas requirements.

Heart: View and palpate all external surfaces of the heart.

Open the heart by cutting through the wall of the left ventricle, the interventricular septum and the atrioventricular orifices.

View the internal surface of the heart and muscular surfaces exposed by the incisions. Palpate the internal surface of the heart and muscular surfaces exposed by the incisions.

Make one incision from the base to apex into each of the cut surfaces of the interventricular septum.

Make one incision parallel to these into each side of the internal surface of the left ventricle about 10 to 20 mm from the base of the septum.

Make the incisions at least 75 mm long and sufficiently deep for adequate inspection (but not so deep as to penetrate the outer surface of the heart).

Masseter muscles:

View the internal and external masseters.

Make one deep incision into each external masseter muscle.

Examine the exposed surfaces.

Make one deep incision into each internal pterygoid muscle. The incision is to be made parallel to the mandible so that the muscle is divided into two parts of equal thickness. Examine the exposed surfaces.

Tongue: View and palpate.

Carcass: View the external and internal surfaces.

In addition to current inspection procedures the following enhanced inspection shall be carried out for properties on the Suspect List:


Make two additional incisions, each parallel to and midway between the edge of the heart and the incision that was made into the internal surface of the ventricle. These incisions should be equal in depth and extent to the routine incisions but should not penetrate the outer surface of the heart

Masseter muscles:

Make two deep incisions into each external masseter muscle. The incisions are to be made parallel to the mandible so that the resulting two flaps of the masseter muscles fold outward from the head.

View and palpate all exposed muscle surfaces of the external and internal masseter muscles after they have been dropped or removed from the head by the company. In the case of the internal masseter muscle it will be sufficient to drop the medial part only.

Tongue: Make a ventral longitudinal midline incision through the suspensory muscle of the tongue, then view and palpate.

In addition to the above procedures, the following inspection procedures shall be carried out if the product of any animal on the Suspect List is intended to be exported. This option is to be made available to the supplier.


Make an incision into each round exposing the musculature cross-section.


Make a transverse incision into each forelimb commencing 2 or 3 inches above the point of the olecranon and extending to the humerus.

The cuts in the round and in the foreleg are made on a slope to facilitate viewing the cut surfaces.

If a suspect lesion is found on post-mortem inspection by the Asure inspector, regardless of whether the animal is on the Suspect List or not, follow the procedures for veterinary inspection as per Manual 16, Inspection table.

Not withstanding the above, the carcass of any animal with suspect lesions, regardless of whether that animal is on the Suspect List or not, is also required to be incised in the round and the foreleg. Manual 16 will be amended in due course.





All product derived from suspect lines must be frozen at -12o C for a minimum of 20 days, if not condemned.



The following part of the document is provisional. Criteria will be affected by ongoing discussions with stakeholders. In the interim, a precautionary approach will be used. The findings from suspect cattle will be monitored at slaughter and in the boning rooms.


Offal and viscera may be detained

The NZ standard currently requires the head, tongue, heart, all other offal and viscera to be condemned if there is a suspect lesion (i.e. before it goes to Gribbels Veterinary Pathology, Hamilton). This standard is amended as follows:

The company is hereby offered the option to have such offal and viscera detained in a similar manner as carcasses that are detained. This can also be done in a batch format, which means that if any of the lesions relating to a batch is positive, all product of the batch will be condemned. The option of having product condemned or detained in this particular situation is at the discretion of the company. Records are to be kept as appropriate to the decision.

This option is now also given for product from animals that are not on the Suspect List. Manual 16 will be amended in due course.


Criteria for condemnation

In principle the decision that a carcass may be condemned is made on the slaughterboard and subject to laboratory confirmation.

(a) Carcasses affected with lesions of T. saginata shall be disposed of as follows:

  1. Carcasses shall be condemned if, in addition to finding lesions in at least two of the usual inspection sites (i.e. the heart, diaphragm and its pillars, muscles of mastication, oesophagus, tongue and musculature exposed during normal dressing operations), they are also found in at least two of the incisions in the legs.
  2. Carcasses showing one or more lesions but not so extensive as indicated in paragraph (a)(1) of this Section, may be passed for human consumption after removal and condemnation of the lesions and affected meat and subsequent treatment as in Sections 5.1 and 5.4 (e).

(b) Offal and viscera shall be disposed of in the same manner as the rest of the carcass from which they were derived unless any lesion of T. saginata is found in these products, in which case they shall be condemned.

(c) It should be noted that if on post-mortem inspection a carcass is found that is heavily infested (riddled) with lesions, the carcass will be condemned anyway for this generalised disease process regardless of whether T. saginata or some other organisms caused it. This means that carcasses with a heavy infestation may not need to be detained because they are condemned on post-mortem inspection. (These procedures are not specific to this protocol but apply also under normal conditions.)

(d) If any suspect lesions are found in cuts in the boning room the affected cut will be condemned.

(e) As an alternative to the condemnation dispositions above, product (with the exception of heavily infested product as described in Section 5.4 (c)) can be used for human consumption after grinding and either freezing or adequate heat treatment.

This product may also be used for pet food.

This product cannot be exported.


Submission of lesions


All suspect lesions up to and including five lesions per animal shall be sent to Gribbels Veterinary Pathology, Hamilton. The number of lesions to be submitted will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis.

The veterinary pathologist on duty is to be notified by MAF and/or Asure by phone before sending the lesions. Gribbels will provide a diagnosis within 3 working days of reception at their Hamilton laboratory.

Lesions with any remnants of cestodes such as scolex, cestode wall or calcareous corpuscles are positive for T. saginata. Any other suspect lesion from an animal with a confirmed T. saginata lesion, will be automatically considered to be confirmed, unless the histo-pathological examination unambiguously rules it out (eg neoplasm).


Identification of product


During dressing and inspection, normal requirements for positive identification apply. This means that all parts that are to be inspected, are identified with the carcass from which they were removed.

In principle, the decision whether or not a carcass may be condemned will be made after all the incisions listed in Section 4 have been made (see above). The laboratory report from Gribbels Veterinary Pathology, Hamilton will advise whether the lesions were positive or not and then the final decision to condemn or not can be made.

The enhanced post-mortem inspection on the slaughterboard will determine how the carcass will be handled in the boning room (Figure 1). It should be noted that all carcasses must be boned under supervision of MAF VA or Asure but only some need to be individually boned.




MAF VA and Asure shall have an agreement at premises level establishing who is responsible for reporting the inspection findings.

MAF VA/Asure shall report to the Assistant Director (Monitoring and Review) how many animals from suspect lines have been slaughtered and the inspection findings within 5 working days of slaughter. This is to include the laboratory report.

Based on the investigation of the farm, the Assistant Director (Monitoring and Review) may stipulate other aspects to be recorded such as the paddocks where the animals had grazed, or the date they had arrived on the farm.


Overseas markets


The above requirements are the New Zealand standard. See Manual 12 for overseas markets and in particular, the EU section.

Product of carcasses with confirmed lesions detected on inspection on the slaughterboard cannot be exported because of the risk it poses to NZ market access if detected overseas.




On receipt of this TD

Figure 1


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