Tests confirm contamination of camel feed

10-09-2007 | |

The Ministry of Agriculture in Saudi Arabia confirmed that toxins in animal feed rather than any contagious disease are to blame for the deaths of more than 3,000 camels, cows and goats.

The announcement was made after tests were conducted in laboratories both
inside and outside Saudi Arabia. The tests were carried out on samples taken
from dead animals, from suspicious fodder as well as on pesticides, cyanides,
nitrates, urea and phenol, and radioactive materials.

results showed that the samples contained salinomycin, a coccidiostat to which
camels are highly allergic. Laboratory tests showed that the bran used to feed
camels contained this compound in high concentrations ,” the ministry said. Another toxic substance found in large
quantities in the fodder was Aspergillus clavatus

, which is a fungus.

The ministry said that the
fungus usually appeared in places with high humidity as well as high
temperature. The fungus affects animals’ nervous systems and the fodder got
infected as a result of poor storage. Tests also proved that the samples of bran
and those taken from dead camels contained toxic aluminum in large amounts. The
ministry pointed out that most insecticides available in the market contain

The ministry has not yet identified
the source of the fodder that killed hundreds of animals across the country.
It said, however, that it
would continue its search in order to find the source of toxins in the bran,
which was used to feed the animals.

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