Feed additives

News 1453 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Last calves culled in Dutch feed scare

On a veal calf farm in Barneveld, the Netherlands, culling has been started after tests showed that the animals consumed feed with traces of the banned antibiotic furazolidone.

At a later stage, animals on a veal calf farm in Uddel, the Netherlands will be culled too. A total of 567 animals have to be destroyed on these two farms.

After the prohibited substance was found in animal feed, 2,500 calves have been culled on two other farms already. The farms in Barneveld and Uddel had the opportunity to demand additional tests, which were not carried out by the farmers. The two farms were therefore under enhanced surveillance. The farmers tried to prevent the culling, but the judge decided that the culling was the only option.

The four veal calf farms have been blocked since the end June, after traces of the banned antibiotic furazolidone were found in urine samples of the calves. The animals got contaminated by consuming feed with the antibiotic in it, supplied by the Dutch feed company Kats Food & Feed. Owner of Kats still denies that the feed got contaminated by him and blames pigeon excrement in the barn for the contamination. The feed company has now been suspended (including its GMP+ certificate). A zero tolerance policy for this banned antibiotic applies. Even small traces of the antibiotic results in destroying of the meat, or animals.

The costs for the culling have to be made by the farms. Also 97 pig farms received the contaminated feed. In total these farms house 50,000 pigs. Tests on these farms are continuing. If traces appear, then the animals will also have to be culled. It is still unknown if the pigs have to be culled. Clarity is expected within the next week.

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