Ministry cracks down on antibiotics use in aquaculture

Update: December, 27/2016 - 15:27
The agricultural ministry will put more effort into stopping the use of antibiotics in aquaculture next year. — Illustrative photo VNA/VNS Duy Khương
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Misuse of antimicrobial materials was discovered in five out of 15 antimicrobial material import companies this year, the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development said.

Some 16 per cent of the total amount of antimicrobial material imported by these companies was sold to unqualified units, the ministry said.

These units bought the antimicrobial material, then either sold them to other customers or put them in food mixture for pets without clarifying the antimicrobial component on the packages.

These major import companies distributed 70 per cent of their total imported antimicrobial material.

Phạm Tiến Dũng, head of the ministry’s Specialised Inspection Division, said selling the antimicrobial material to unqualified units is the most significant wrongdoing within the sector.

According to regulations of the ministry’s Veterinary Department, antimicrobial material can only be imported for the production of veterinary medicines. Only manufacturers with a certificate of good manufacturing practices issued by the Ministry of Health can produce veterinary medicines.

Several companies said they only used antimicrobial material in food for sea animals, although in reality they sold them to veterinary units, which would eventually sell them to marine animal farms, Dũng said.

During a product examination, a company purchasing shrimps in southern Cà Mau Province found antibiotic residue in up to 15 per cent of the total quantity of shrimps, according to the ministry’s Specialised Inspection Division.

The ministry’s inspectors will continue highlighting the issue in a key inspection programme next year to put an end to the use of antibiotics in aquaculture.

Such programmes needs close collaboration with the health sector to be effective, Dũng said. — VNS