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Chinese officials: poultry feed is safe

Despite scattered instances of poultry found with tainted feed, China's animal feed is on the whole safe, an agricultural official said.

A livestock market in Guangzhou city in the southern Guangdong province has barred all pigs from central Henan from entering its market since late last month, when 151 pigs transported from its Mengjin county were suspected of being fed with tainted feed. But deputy agricultural minister Gao Hongbin stressed that the public need not worry about clenbuterol hydrochloride, a fattening drug in pig feed that was banned after it was found to be hazardous to human health.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) sent probe teams to Guangdong and Hunan, another province that filed a similar report, immediately after learning the news. It has since dispatched supervision teams to 12 provinces to oversee local work on securing animal feed, he said.

In all of 2008, the MOA inspected nearly 25,000 batches of animal feed samples, sending some 370,000 inspectors to 36,000 feed producers, 118,000 feed shops and 20,000 breeding houses. As a result, 256 firms operating illegally were closed, according to Gao. Some 6,900 t of feed were also confiscated and destroyed, he said.

Source: chinadaily.com

Natalie Berkhout

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