Germany to slaughter pigs tainted with dioxin
Published:  12 January, 2011

Hundreds of pigs in Germany are to be slaughtered as the focus of the dioxin animal feed scandal switched from poultry to pigs.

It is understood that high levels of the cancer-causing dioxin were found in pigs on Tuesday at a farm in the county of Verden, Lower Saxony. The farm had bought feed containing fats at the centre of the scandal.

However, officials stressed again that the levels of dioxin found so far do not present an immediate danger to human health.

Meanwhile, the number of farms that have been shut in the wake of the scandal has reduced significantly – from 4,700 to 558 poultry and pig farms.

Tests on feed additives produced at the Harles und Jentzsch plant in the northern region of Schleswig-Holstein revealed levels of dioxin at 77 times the permitted level. It produces fats to be used in industrial processes, such as paper-making as well as to enrich feeds for animals.

Gert Hahne, spokesman for Lower Saxony’s agriculture ministry, said the pigs in Verden would be slaughtered and incinerated.

Responding to reports that tainted eggs products had reached UK supermarkets, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said: “There is no food safety risk from eating these products.”

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