A worker with pigs at a livestock breeding centre in the central province of Phu Yen. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has officially issued a circular to prohibit the use of cysteamine - a substance used in animal husbandry, Hoang Thanh Van, head of the ministry’s Animal Husbandry Department said.

The circular will come into effect on March, 1, Van said, adding that cysteamine would be added to the list of banned substances which includes salbutamol and vat yellow - an imported substance that is used for dyeing cloth or in the construction sector - in Vietnam.

“Violations relating to the trade and production of prohibited substances will be fined severely under Government law,” he said.

“In the future, if individuals, organisations or companies are found to be involved in the trade of cysteamine, they will be punished under the provisions of Decree 119 on administrative penalties in the fields of animal husbandry and feeds.”

The ministry has set up five laboratories that are qualified to test for cysteamine, so animal husbandry companies or health inspectors can take suspected samples for testing.  

Nguyen Thu Thuy, deputy head of the Animal Husbandry Department said the department was also banning the import of cysteamine.

At a meeting in late 2016, Hoang Thanh Van confirmed that cysteamine is a new substance, and adding it to feed could improve the levels of growth hormones, promote the growth performance of the animal and lead to the creation of lean meat.

There was no study yet proving the effectiveness or harmful effects of this product in breeding, Van said.

However, he added that the department’s inspectors had discovered some animal husbandry farms were abusing this substance.

Following consultations with scientists, breeding experts and management agencies, the ministry had officially proposed a circular on banning the use of cysteamine in feed production, the head of the department said.

Vietnamese inspectors had found that some feed products imported from Thailand contained cystaemine.

They also found antibiotics being misused at many animal feed production plants and pig and poultry farms.

Last August, the ministry’s inspector team examined and discovered an one-member limited liability company at Tran Quoc Hoan Street of HCM City’s Tan Binh district that imported two animal feeding products, Maxsure and Synergrown containing cystaemine from Thailand.

A large number of products were sold to animal feed dealers, feed production plants and pig farms nation-wide.

Inspectors fined the company 180 million VND (8,000 USD) for importing and trading substances that were not on the ministry’s licensed list.-VNA