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Pig Farmers Told to Drug Livestock

by 5m Editor
1 April 2011, at 10:53am

CHINA - Middlemen were found ordering individual pig raisers to feed the animals a banned chemical that promotes lean pork in order to fatten profits.

They instructed pig raisers to add a certain amount of clenbuterol, known to the Chinese as "lean meat powder," for a specific period of time to achieve optimal size. Then they offered a higher price for pigs fed with the drug, prompting the rampant use of the banned drug.

"We are required by the middleman to add the drug. If you don't, the pigs don't sell for a good price," Zhang Yan, a private pig raiser in Mengzhou, Henan Province, told the Oriental Morning Post.

"The whole process was well concealed. We don't know if any other pig raisers use the drug or where our pigs are sold," Mr Zhang added.

Mr Zhang fed about 10 grams of clenbuterol to each pig, raising the cost of each pig by 3 yuan (46 US cents) to 5 yuan. A drugged pig can fetch an extra 50 yuan, according to Mr Zhang.

Quoting Oriental Morning Post, ShanghaiDaily.com reports that the middlemen made gains in three ways. They earned a 10 yuan commission for each pig, made money by selling clenbuterol to pig raisers and received more orders from slaughterhouses as lean pork was more popular, the report said.

Some middlemen work as inspectors at the animal quarantine authority.

They tested the pigs sold to slaughterhouses, giving them a chance to cheat, the report said.

The inspection process has since been tightened.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.