Illegal use of beta-agonist in pig feed
Many Malasian pig farmers are suspected of using the banned drug beta-agonist
in their pig feed. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek therefore
urged consumers to be patient until the authorities complete their checks on pig
farmers and pork sellers.
Beta agonist is used to force pigs to mature faster with
a higher amount of lean meat, but it can cause palpitation, headaches
and even death,
especially in heart
patients. He said farmers were suspected of feeding pigs with beta-agonist
for speedy growth to cash in on the high pork prices.
Chua said farmers would now be required to sign an undertaking in front of a
commissioner for oaths when they wanted to renew their annual licence that their
livestock would not be fed beta-agonist. "If the authorities find
beta-agonist in the pigs, the farmer will first be given a stern warning," he
"But if the farmer
repeats the offence, his pigs will be quarantined for a month so that they are
not sold, exported or slaughtered illegally. If the farmer commits the offence
for the third time, his farm will be closed." Dr Chua also said animal feed
containing beta-agonist would be listed under restricted orders. This means the
feed can be inspected.
Chua said that the ministry had not found any pharmacist selling beta-agonist
therefore suspects that the beta-agonist are smuggled in from neighbouring
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