December 11, 2012
Due to excessive levels of antibiotics used during feed production, Ukrainian chicken is said to pose a threat to consumers' health.
This is according to Yuri Starchevsky, Deputy Director of consumer right protection company "Life Standart".
"We all know that antibiotics are used in large-scale poultry production in Ukraine. We have been speaking to many poultry manufacturers, and they all told us that if no antibiotics are used there will be high levels of mortality among the poultry stock, which will result in economic loss," Starchevsky said.
At the same time, he complained that the Ukrainian government has still not engaged in the development of the organic agricultural product industry.
"In Ukraine, the annual production of organic food for the domestic market is estimated at US$5 million. However, on the state level the industry is not interesting, and we have what we have [the antibiotics in poultry] also because a veto was put on the law on organic products," he added.
The words of Yuri Starchevsky have been supported by veterinary officials. As stated in the State Committee of Veterinary Medicine of Ukraine, antibiotics have constantly been found in domestic chicken meat. The government allocates only a small part of the necessary funds purchase testing systems and equipment to carry out the veterinary control for antibiotics in poultry. Also, the country still uses a Soviet Union system of classification of antibiotics in feed, according to which inspections are carried out for three major classes of antibiotics while the number available throughout the world and in the Ukraine is much larger.
However, the main problem experts claim is the absence of any liability for the use of antibiotics in poultry feed. Currently, the penalty for such a violation may range from only a minimum of UAH17 (US$2.07) to a maximum of UAH340 (US$41.5).