Materia Medica Malaysiana

January 23, 2007

Imported pig feed to be tested

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:19 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Pig feed imported by 16 companies will be tested for beta-agonist — a banned growth enhancer injurious to health.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said yesterday this would be carried out by his ministry’s pharmaceutical division.
“As we are going all out to ban the use of beta-agonist by pig farmers, it is also important to know whether the imported feed contains the banned growth enhancer,” Dr Chua said.
He told reporters this after chairing a meeting with representatives from the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, Customs, Veterinary Services Department, Health Ministry and its pharmaceutical division, Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations Malaysia and the Pork Sellers Association.
“We do not allow beta-agonist to be sold in the market in any form.
“It is being smuggled into the country and we must stop this by not using it in the animal feed,” said Dr Chua.
China and India are among the countries exporting pig feed to Malaysia.
At present, 37 pig farms are placed under a one-month quarantine after their animals were found to have high levels of beta-agonist.
This followed a check on 656 farms nationwide.
Dr Chua said the farmers were allowed to send their pigs for slaughter after the quarantine period only upon receiving the green light from the Veterinary Services Department.
“Once the quarantine period is over, the farmers should inform the Veterinary Services Department which will then take samples from the pigs to ascertain whether they are free of beta agonist,” he added.
Pig farms that do not notify the department will remain under quarantine.
Most of the errant farms are in Malacca, Selangor, Perak and Penang.
So far only four farms whose quarantine period expired on Jan 14, have applied to the Veterinary Services Department to test their pigs.
Pork tainted with beta-agonist can cause headache, dizziness, breathing difficulties and palpitations.
Dr Chua said it was now mandatory for all pig farmers to make a declaration that they will not use beta-agonist.
“Only farmers who have made the declaration and have got the Veterinary Services to give them a clean bill, are allowed to send their pigs for slaughter.”
Pig sellers caught with tainted pork would be prosecuted unless they had documents showing where they got the meat.
Dr Chua said his ministry’s aim was to ensure that all pork sold in the market by Chinese New Year was free of beta-agonist.

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