Bill No. 7489 or an instruction to create a shadow market of Ukrainian slaughterhouses

Submitted by bashun on Mon, 04/02/2018 - 14:23

The discussion about the ban on the sale of domestic meat has received wide publicity. The changes proposed by the Verkhovna Rada in the legislation may deprive the peasants of selling produced meat products if the animal was not slaughtered in certified slaughter houses. However, in fact, there are almost no such points in Ukraine. The proposed legislative changes still contain a number of controversial points, according to which the peasants will not lose their only source of profit.

The discussion about the ban on the sale of domestic meat has received wide publicity. There is a double issue: on the one hand, Ukrainians revolt, seeing in the new rules of the state significant harm for themselves, and on the other hand, officials say that all these changes are made for the sake of people and for their benefit.

To fully and objectively cover this issue, the representatives of the Ukrainian Stock Breeders Association repeatedly communicated with the producers, went to their places, analyzed the essence of the proposed changes. And in the end came to the following conclusions.

The essence of the changes is that it is proposed to introduce new rules for slaughtering animals that will affect the possibility of selling finished products. In the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, certain people's deputies actively lobby for the adoption of Bill No. 7489 of 16.01.2018 "On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Enhancing Measures to Ensure Traceability." It provides of January 1, 2020, a ban on the use of meat and other slaughter products obtained as a result of slaughter not in a slaughterhouse that has an operational permit. That is, farmers are offered to slaughter animals not independently, but on certified slaughter points. Such a ban does not apply only to the case of own consumption of such products.

This bill has already been supported by the relevant Agrarian Committee, but it has not yet been put to the vote in the Verkhovna Rada.

Not so long ago, in an interview with Biz.censor, the chairman of the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection, Volodymyr Lapa, called the ban on the sale of domestic meat a blatant lie (see the full text of the interview by link https://biz.censor.net.ua/resonance/3056083/golova_derjprodspojivslujbi_zaborona_prodavati_domashn_myaso_vdverta_nepravda). Supporters of bill No. 7489 of 16.01.2018 draw attention to the fact that the current Law "On Basic Principles and Requirements for Safety and Quality of Food Products" allows not only to consume meat slaughtered in the yard, but also sell to the end user within 50 kilometers from the place slaughtering or in the area in which it was carried out.

The norm of the current law is like this: "Of January 1, 2025, products obtained as a result of slaughter not in a slaughterhouse that has an operational permit can be used exclusively for own consumption or sale in the agro-industrial market to the end user within 50 kilometers from the slaughter site or in an area in which it was implemented."

However, bill No. 7489 proposes to change it in such a way that the right of sale disappears even within 50 km. The new version is: "Of January 1, 2020, meat and other slaughter products obtained as a result of slaughter not in a slaughterhouse that has an operational permit can only be used for own consumption."

The question of what bringing cattle to the slaughter house, then slaughter it, and then to sell it on the market, also requires detailed elaboration. The Ukrainian Stock Breeders Association studied the situation of the network of fighting in Ukraine. The Association constantly receives calls from peasants, representatives of medium and small businesses, who talk about the huge problem with the activities of slaughterhouses  in Ukraine. Some of them are generally "mothballed" and do not work. The other part is in an inadequate state.

It is very interesting whether the officials, who shout about the presence of slaughterhouses, have ever seen them? In fact, there are very few slaughterhouses today. And those which can get an operational permit are even less. Slaughterhouses, which meet high sanitary and epidemiological standards, often in some regions are in very small quantity.

Another problem is that the operating slaughterhouses are territorially remote. If the distance to the slaughter is 100 km, then who will bring there his cattle? These are significant additional costs which people simply lack the means for. And the state by the bill № 7489 shifts the decision of this question on shoulders of peasants who grow cattle. That is, if want to keep livestock for sale, please carry it 100 km to slaughter.

People who have their own households, as well as representatives of small businesses that grow livestock, are engaged in such activities to feed their families. And very often it is their only source of income. They are ready to organize and build their slaughterhouses so that it is close, convenient and effective. However, in practice they do not have such an opportunity. People talk about numerous facts, when they appeal to the village, town and city council with a request to allocate land for slaughter, where they are banally refused.

It is logical that by prescribing certain norms, officials should take care of the possibility of their implementation in real life.

The next interesting point is getting a subsidy for the construction of the slaughterhouse. The state provides subsidies for the construction of enterprises for processing agricultural products. Compensation occurs through a commission of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy in the amount of 30% and through the bank at a rate of 25%. That is, you need to invest at least 70-75% of your own investment in construction, and these are significant costs, which not everybody can afford.

There is an opportunity to organize and create an agricultural serving cooperative, the main purpose of which will be meat processing (slaughterhouse). However, it is not so simple. Under such a situation, the state will require paying 5% of the tax for the activities of such a cooperative.

That is, people unite for the sake of the opportunity to work together and in fact must pay tax.

Well, the cherry on the cake will be the shadow market of information about the slaughter of cattle. In practice, fictitious compliance with legislative requirements will occur. Resellers who create real competition to private households will simply bulk purchase such certificates. Thus, only they win at this.

As can be seen, Bill No. 7489 of 16.01.2018 "On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Enhancing Measures to Ensure Traceability" contains many problematic aspects.

The Ukrainian Stock Breeders Association is extremely concerned about this situation. The network of slaughterhouses  is not being built today, and if the Verkhovna Rada adopts this draft law, the use of domestic meat for sale will be in jeopardy, and this, in turn, will lead to the cutting out of livestock and rising prices for the population.

It is necessary to ensure a certain adaptation period, during which a transparent mechanism for introducing requirements for slaughtering animals will be developed. The Ministry of Agrarian Policy should develop a procedure for the construction of slaughter stations, determine their number, and conduct awareness-raising activities among the population. In addition, adequate funding is needed to build animal slaughter points in each district. In particular, to provide tax incentives, to attract loans. This will allow people to use such points within an adequate territorial access, in turn, reduce transportation costs. The slaughter points that will have an operational permit must meet all the requirements and standards, according to their activities. Similarly, the procedure for issuing documents for slaughter should be transparent and open, because it is a lot easier to break something, but to offer an alternative is much more difficult.

The Ukrainian Stock Breeders Association supports Ukraine's desire to meet the highest standards, but at the same time, developing new requirements, and the need to create a mechanism for adaptation by adopting the appropriate state program to support and develop a network of miners by region

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