October 21, 2019
Antibiotics allegedly meant for use on Northern Irish poultry farm seized
Chinese antibiotics allegedly meant for unregulated use on a Northern Irish poultry farm have been intercepted at a British airport, The Guardian reported on October 18.
Authorities in Northern Ireland have also started investigation into a large poultry farm company due to the incident. According to The Guardian, the antibiotic amoxicillin was in the seized consignment.
The poultry farm in question was supposedly a major supplier to Moy Park, a chicken slaughtering and processing company in Northern Ireland, a source told the newspaper.
Moy Park confirmed that it was supplied by the facility but did not own the site. It noted that the investigation focused on "an isolated incident at an independently owned, contract supply farm."
"A multi-agency operation was carried out on Thursday (October 17) in the County Tyrone area in pursuance of offences under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 and the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013. A number of items were removed for examination. An investigation is ongoing," the Northern Ireland Department of Health announced.
The Food Standards Agency said it had become involved in the investigation as the farm allegedly linked to the shipment of reared meat. It added that it is working with "authorities involved in the investigation to ensure there is no risk to the food chain."
Amoxicillin is approved for use as a veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom. It is supposed to be administered only under veterinary supervision and only to sick animals. There are restrictions on its import.
The routine use of antibiotics as a growth promoter in farm livestock is not permitted under UK laws. This recent development could raise new concerns about the post-Brexit management of food safety after the UK completes its divorce from the European Union.
The UK is required to notify the European commission about incidents that affect food safety so that a rapid alert can be issued across all EU countries.
- The Guardian