About 3,750 pigs at a slaughter house in HCM City tested positive for sedatives, said Phạm Tiến Dũng, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development inspectorate. — Photo vnexpress.net
HCM CITY — About 3,750 pigs at a slaughter house in HCM City tested positive for sedatives, said Phạm Tiến Dũng, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development inspectorate.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Dũng said the solution being injected into pigs was found to contain a high concentration of Axeprocemin (a type of sedative) of between 0.47-0.51mg per litre.
Inspectors also took 140 urine samples from the pigs and samples of the bottled infusion for testing.
The sedatives send the pigs to sleep and prevent them from urinating, helping reduce weight loss and thus making them more profitable, Dũng said. The drug also lends the meat a healthier colour and eases animals’ pain, making them easier for traders to transport.
Consumption of pork with sedative residue can affect human kidneys and nervous system, he said.
Fines of between VNĐ30-35 million (US$1,300-1,500) will be imposed on 13 traders for their violations.
On Thursday, a joint inspection team of environmental police and inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development raided the Xuyên Á slaughter house in Củ Chi District following a tip-off.
Two merchants were caught red-handed injecting the pigs with a sedative solution right before having them slaughtered.
A number of empty bottles of sedatives and dozens of infusion bottles containing water mixed with the sedatives were seized.
According to Huỳnh Tấn Phát, deputy head of HCM City’s Health Department Agency, about 5,000 pig are slaughtered every day at Xuyên Á slaughter house, accounting for half the pig meat consumed in the city.
Phát said seven cases of sedative injections have been detected by the agency since the beginning of this year.
Phát said the agency was working with the joint inspection team to clarify the responsibilities of the veterinary officers at Xuyên Á slaughter house, adding that due punishment would be imposed on the violators. — VNS