|Pigs are raised in a farm in Huong Khe District, Ha Tinh Province. In response to recent public concern over the use of banned substances in pig farming in southern provinces, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will conduct regular inspections and deal strictly with the use of banned substances in animal husbandry. - VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will conduct regular inspections and deal strictly with the use of banned substances in animal husbandry, officials said.
Pham Tien Dung, head of the MARD's inspectorate announced at a press conference on Tuesday that inspectors had been working with authorities in southern provinces to manage the consumption of banned substances and antibiotics in the sector.
Inspectors from the MARD have discovered a toxic substance in chicken meat which could cause cancer if eaten, he said.
Dung said that breeders used Vat Yellow, a substance which is not allowed in food processing. This will pose a health risk to people who eat contaminated meat.
Nguyen Xuan Duong, deputy director of MARD's livestock department, said Vat Yellow is a substance imported from foreign countries. It is used in dying cloth or in the construction sector.
"Breeders mix Vat Yellow with animal feed to make chicken look more attractive to traders and customers," Duong said.
The fact that Vietnamese customers like food with attractive colours was one reason breeders used ban substances, he said.
Although using these substances makes meat look more attractive, they do not improve meat's nutrition, Duong said.
He urged consumers to be smart and choose what they consider best for their health.
Regarding the use of banned substances in pig farming in southern provinces, Dung said farmers told inspectors from MARD that they were forced to use banned substances to stimulate growth and produce lean meat.
Duong, the Deputy Director of Livestock Department, said the MARD has ordered people's committees at localities to inspect the use of banned substances from breeding farms to abattoirs and markets.
He called on breeders, animal feed producers and normal people to be vigilant and denounce violators to protect the health of consumers and the interest of honest farmers.
Duong said the department had recently co-ordinated with scientists to launch a rapid urine test to check for banned substances.
The test would deliver results 5 minutes after dipping it in pig urine, he said.
Results from inspection teams of the MARD showed that 31 out of 227 pig urine samples taken from Dong Nai, Tien Giang and Long An provinces to HCM City tested positive for residue of prohibited substances. The inspection teams also found 14 farms in Dong Nai Province, the country's leading pork supplier, using banned stimulants.
Those substances were also found at certain farms in other provinces like Tay Ninh and Ben Tre.
Last month, five pig-breeding farms in the southern province of Tay Ninh were fined for using banned chemical substances such as lean-meat agents after inspectors found five of the nine samples taken from these farms had tested positive for salbutamol, which was banned for breeders in 2002.
The farms were fined VND80 million (US$3,570) in total, of which three of them received the highest fine of VND20 million ($892) each. — VNS