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Ministry issues pig-feed warning

Update: April, 08/2015 - 09:01
"If the feed was found to contain banned substances, they would be forced to close and their names would be published in the mass media", said Nguyen Xuan Duong, vice head of the ministry's Department for Animal Husbandry. — File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced it would shutter pig feed producers' and traders' businesses if they were found with banned substances.

The ministry held a conference in Ha Noi on Monday to launch crackdown on male breeding pig and pig feed violations. Nguyen Xuan Duong, vice head of the ministry's Department for Animal Husbandry, reported that pig feed producers and traders who were found to make or trade substandard pig feed would be fined and issued two warnings, after which they'd be forced to close.

If the feed was found to contain banned substances, they would be forced to close and their names would be published in the mass media, he said.

Duong said the amount of low-quality feed seemed to increase whenever pig prices rose.

He said this year inspections would focus on producers, mixers and traders of both feed and veterinary medicine, as well as pig farmers. They would also prioritise small- and medium-sized producers and producers of supplementary feed, Duong said.

"For pig farms, priority will go to the high-risk category, i.e. those that produce feed by mixing ingredients on their own or that use leftovers from restaurants and cafeterias for breeding," he said.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Vu Van Tam pointed out some challenges that lie ahead. Due to understaffing, the ministry only inspected 50 per cent of businesses, farmers and producers, while instances of repeated violations were as high as 60 or 70 per cent, he said.

Tam highlighted the need to inspect farms, as well, saying many preferred substandard feed with unknown origins, because it cost less.

A report by the Department for Animal Husbandry stated that last year the sector carried out inspections in six provinces, checking 88 feed producers, 71 traders, 256 meat pig farms, 33 slaughterers and 14 pork-trading businesses.

The inspectors collected 329 samples of feed, 311 samples of pig urine and 346 samples of pork.

Testing results showed that 11.6 per cent of the sampled feed was in violation of quality standards, in terms of raw protein, amino acid and minerals; 2.4 per cent failed safety criteria and 5.2 per cent contained banned substances.

Authorised agencies gave out fines totalling VND545 million (US$25,000).

The conference was told that 2014 was a successful year for the animal husbandry industry, riding on increased production and good selling prices.

The industry grew 4.85 per cent in the first quarter of the year, despite the high price of feed, the report said. — VNS

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