News 141 views last update:7 Aug 2012

Pigs that ate contaminated feed euthanized

The pigs in the US state Utah that believed to have eaten feed contaminated with melamine may be euthanized as a precautionary measure, state and local authorities said.

However, government officials declined to say when they will complete tests to determine whether the feed the pigs ate was tainted, leaving local authorities somewhat frustrated.
About 2,500 swine at four northern Utah hog farms could be affected by the action, which was initiated Thursday by the US Food and Drug Administration. Those pigs are currently under a voluntary "hold order," preventing the sale or transportation of the animals, according to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

It is not known whether any Utah pigs consumed contaminated feed. It is not known whether, if they did consume tainted feed, they suffered ill effects. It isn't known whether any contaminated pork made it to market, or what effect, if any, consuming pork from contaminated pigs would have on humans. Local and national experts said it is very likely minimal.

Contamination in seven states
About 6,000 pigs in seven states — Utah, California, Kansas, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma and South Carolina — and possibly a feed plant in Missouri, were potentially exposed to tainted feed, according to Kenneth Peterson, assistant administrator for field operations at the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Because the USDA can't rule out the possibility that food produced from animals fed the tainted product also is adulterated, it will not allow any products from pigs in question to go to market.

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