Pinkney Mary Theresa
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The main aim of this review paper was to identify and investigate the key roles of the Official Veterinarian (OV) during the Ante Mortem (AM) inspection of swine. A special focus was paid to the significance of the OV in the health and welfare of animals produced for human consumption. Over the past decade the meat inspection system has developed greatly due to the increased demand of protein and animal products and it is important that these systems continue to advance. Involvement of the veterinarian in the “farm to fork” process is central to the promotion of food hygiene and contributes to stability of the four pillars of the veterinary profession; animal health, animal welfare, public health and environmental health. The OV is personally responsible for the outcome of AM and post mortem (PM) inspection tasks which are useful to evaluate the welfare levels on the farm and during transport. The OV however, is not wholly responsible for animal welfare; he/she verifies and audits compliance with legislation, e.g. The Welfare Act 2006. By fulfilling their duties in the slaughterhouse the OV contributes to the production of safe food, and therefore the health of the consumer.