HCM City has managed to control abuse of antibiotics and banned substances in animal breeding by imposing tough penalties and destroying meats found with such substances. — Photo thoibao.today
HCM CITY — HCM City has managed to control abuse of antibiotics and banned substances in animal breeding by imposing tough penalties and destroying meats found with such substances, according to the city Animal Health Agency.
One such substance is salbutamol, a bronchodilator used for treating breathing difficulties related to asthma, which is used illegally to stimulate growth in animals.
At a meeting held with inspectors from central agencies on Thursday, Huỳnh Tấn Phát, the agency’s deputy head, said more than 1,500 samples of pork from slaughterhouses had been tested since May 2015 and no banned substances were found.
Inspections of breeding facilities failed to turn up such substances either, he said.
“The city has controlled abuse of banned substances in breeding.”
Before the last Tết (Lunar New Year) in early 2016 the city found dozens of truckloads of pigs with banned substances being transported from other provinces.
The animals were destroyed with the city enterprises that had bought them paying for it, Phát said.
The agency requested authorities in the provinces where the pork had originated to strengthen oversight, he said.
According to the city Aquaculture Agency, the rate of seafood samples testing positive for banned chemicals and antibiotics had also reduced from 32.5 per cent in the first quarter last year to 3.7 per cent in the fourth quarter.
Phát said an electronic system for consumers to check the origins of pork was introduced in modern retail outlets in December 2015, and nearly 1,200-1,400 pigs are checked in this manner daily.
On January 16 the system would be expanded to six traditional markets, and with many foreign-owned breeding companies set to take part in the system, the number of pigs checked for origins daily would rise to 5,000, accounting for 30 per cent of the pork sold in the city during Tết, he said.
Huỳnh Thị Kim Cúc, deputy head of the city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said her department plans to use a similar method to check the origin of vegetables.
“It is difficult to set up the system, but we are trying to pilot it at several vegetable co-operatives, including Phước An and Phú Lộc.”
Because 70 per cent of vegetables come from elsewhere, the city has worked with many provinces to create safe food chains.
As of now 98 farms and production establishments in Đồng Nai, Bình Dương, Bình Phước and other provinces have been licensed to take part in the chains.
The department organises the Vietnamese good agricultural practices (GAP) and GlobalGap agricultural product fairs every Saturday in District 10. — VNS