Dioxin scare fall-out continues

Concern was rising, as MTJ went to press, over a collapse in the European pig price, following the German dioxin scare.

Dutch producers are reported to be protesting at the situation and have shut down several processors across the Netherlands, following a fall in the German pork price of around E0.23/kg. Netherlands-based processor Vion announced it would not be quoting prices following the German scare, as "the situation for livestock is so uncertain".

The European Commission launched an investigation after Germany halted meat sales on 5 January, following the shipping of 120,000 contaminated eggs to market and the stoppage of 5,000 farms from trading. Supermarkets in the UK removed products from shelves although the Food Standards Agency stressed there was no risk to the public.

Germany slaughtered hundreds of pigs, but the country was hit by more embarrassment when a further 934 farms had to be closed, because a company in Lower Saxony failed to disclose it had delivered dioxin-contaminated feed to them.

Pork from farms suspected to have received the tainted feed was sent to Poland and the Czech Republic. Denmark, France and Italy were also thought to have received possibly contaminated goods. South Korea and China have banned imports of German pork and poultry.

l In other news, it has been revealed that five men have been arrested in connection with the 2008 Irish pork contamination scare four from Northern Ireland and one from the border county of Monaghan. The prosecution services in Northern Ireland are now preparing a report.

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