|Authority collects sample for test at a pig farm in Bien Hoa City. Use of banned substances in animal breeding has reached an alarming level and preventive measures are urgently needed. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Use of banned substances in animal breeding has reached an alarming level and preventive measures are urgently needed, delegates said at a seminar held in HCM City yesterday.
Dr. Vuong Nam Trung, head of the Nutrition and Animal Feed Faculty of the Institute for Animal Sciences for Southern Viet Nam, said Viet Nam had banned the use of beta-agonist, including Clenbuterol, Salbutamol and Ractopamine, in husbandry for more than a decade. The chemicals were used to stimulate growth of animals and make them lean.
The substances, however, are still being widely used by pig breeders.
No cases of food poisoning due to these substances have occurred, but residue on meat products have been reported, according to Trung.
Le Ba Lich, chairman of the Viet Nam Animal Feed Association, said both small breeders and big farms were using the substances.
Loose supervision of management agencies and the desire for higher profits had contributed to the higher rate of use.
Nguyen Thi Hong Tham, director of An Ha Services Co. Ltd, which purchases all pigs from households practising VietGap standards, said that fines for violations had not been high enough.
Lich said the use of banned substances at pig farms affected both consumers and honest farmers and even the animal husbandry industry.
He asked breeders, slaughterhouses and animal feed production establishments not to use the banned substances.
He said that consumers would turn their back on unsafe products and as a result the domestic husbandry industry would lose in its home market, he said at a seminar organised by Thanh Nien (Youth People) newspaper.
Nguyen Xuan Duong, deputy head of the Animal Husbandry Department, said ministries and localities should work together to conduct regular checks of breeding, slaughterhouses and trading establishments.
Strengthening awareness among farmers about the possible effects of these substances was needed as well, he said.
Tham suggested that the government impose strict fines on violators and publicise the names of violators in the media.
Delegates at the seminar also asked the Ministry of Health to tighten control over the import of Clenbuterol and Salbutamol, as enterprises are allowed to use these banned substances in medication production.
They also suggested stepping up the development of closed breeding chains to help reduce costs and enable better quality control. — VNS