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FOOD SAFETY ASSURANCE PROGRAM (Beta-Agonist Monitoring in Pig Farms)

FOOD SAFETY ASSURANCE PROGRAM(Beta-Agonist Monitoring in Pig Farms)

Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia
(Stage 1 from 28/1/2008, to be completed within one month)

  1. Objective

This program entitled ‘Food Safety Assurance Program – Beta-agonist Monitoring in Pig Farms’ is an industry sponsored program to be coordinated by Department of Veterinary Services Headquarters (DVS Headquarters) and Federation of Livestock Farmers Associations of Malaysia (FLFAM) and implemented jointly by State Departments of Veterinary Services (DVS State) and the member associations of FLFAM in the states.

The objective of the program is to strengthen the monitoring in pig farms and to ensure pork and pork products offered to consumers in Malaysiaare free from beta-agonists.

This program complements the 2-prong strategy put into place by the Ministry of Health which conducts monitoring of chemical residues in pork and pork products and the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Resources which conducts monitoring of chemical residues in pigs at the abattoirs and in the farms.

Essentially this program is self-sponsored by the producers as an initiative in promoting safe food production practice and requires all pig producers in the country to partake in three times yearly testing program for the freedom of beta-agonists.

  1. Interested Parties and Stakeholders

The interested parties and stakeholders involved in the program are

► Producers/Farmers

§ Producers shall appoint Authorised Veterinarian as in the form in Annex 4.

§ Producers shall cooperate with the respective State Livestock Farmers Association and Authorised Veterinarian to carry out sampling under the monitoring programme.

► State Livestock Farmers Associations

§ All State Livestock Farmers Associations will cooperate with FLFAM and work closely with DVSState, producers and Authorised Veterinarians to implement the monitoring programme in the respective states.

► Federation of Livestock Farmers Associations of Malaysia(FLFAM)

§ FLFAM will coordinate with the DVS Headquarters and in particular with the Head of Zoonosis and Public Health Section, Biosecurity and SPS Management Division.

§ FLFAM will deal directly with State Livestock Farmers Associations and Authorised Veterinarians in providing the programme schedule, necessary facilities and equipments to implement the programme.

► Authorised Veterinarians

§ Private veterinarians with annual practicing certificates shall be listed as Authorised Veterinarians by the DVS Headquarters to undertake the supervision of sampling, submission of samples (Annex 2) to authorised labs and submission of sampling data (Annex 5) to DVSState.

§ Private veterinarians shall apply to the DVS Headquarters in the form as in Annex 3 to offer their services in the programme.

► Authorised Laboratories

§ Laboratories that are authorized by the DVS Headquarters where the testing for beta-agonists can be carried out.

§ Lab results (original) shall be submitted to the Head of Zoonosis and Public Health Section, DVS Headquarters with copy to the Authorised Veterinarian.

► State Department of Veterinary Services

§ Coordinating with the State Livestock Farmers Association and Authorised Veterinarians with respect to sampling, testing and compiling farm and sampling data and implementing the protocols for farm clearance (with instructions from DVS Headquarters) and the issuance of health certificates and movement permits under the programme.

§ Shall participate in the supervision of sampling at some farms selected at random.

► Department Veterinary Services Headquarters

§ Coordinating with the FLFAM on the implementation of the program and deal with DVSStateon the programme schedule and protocols on clearance of farms for beta-agonists.

§ List of Authorised Veterinarians and Laboratories shall be made available to FLFAM and DVSState.

  1. Modus Operandi

3.1 Coverage

This program covers all pig farms in West Malaysiaand if proven successful will be promoted for implementation in East Malaysia. The activity steps that are required in the program are shown in Annex 1.

3.2 Beta-agonists and test method

The beta-agonists covered under the program include the initial testing by the Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) method which is a sensitive test for the detection of beta-agonists.

The range of beta-agonists that can be tested include the primary molecules of salbutamol and clenbuterol and others. This assay can be conducted relatively fast and is cheap, however its specificity i.e. false positives when the concentration of the product is low and when there are intereference with other substances requires a more specific and confirmatory test i.e. Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC MS MS). The Department of Veterinary Services will inform FLFAM on the list of authorized laboratories approved for testing. The laboratories will have to show evidence that the tests that are performed are accredited to Standards Malaysia or if the tests are not yet accredited, the laboratory will have to show evidence of method validation and shall be subject to the inspection by DVS officers.

3.3 Collection and submission of samples

Each farm will be required to permit and work closely with the authorized veterinarians who will be supervising the collection of samples and the submission of the samples to authorized laboratories.

The authorized veterinarian shall follow the sampling and submission protocol as shown in Annex 2.

3.4 Frequency of testing and cost of monitoring

The frequency of testing will be three (3) times per year. The scheduling of sampling will be coordinated by the Pig Unit, FLFAM and the Department of Veterinary Services Headquarters, Putrajaya.

The cost of monitoring i.e. payment of professional fees to the Authorized Veterinarian and to the Authorized Laboratory will be borne by the individual producers/farmers.

Department of Veterinary Services
8 January 2008