Vietnam’s Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development said that in a third of 15 cases examined, antimicrobial materials were being misused. The materials should have only been imported to make veterinary medicines but were often put into pet food without clarifying the antimicrobial component on the packages or eventually sold to aquaculture operations.
Pham Tien Dung, head of the ministry’s Specialised Inspection Division, said selling the antimicrobial material to unqualified units is the most significant wrongdoing within the sector.
According to regulations of the ministry’s Veterinary Department, antimicrobial material can only be imported for the production of veterinary medicines. Only manufacturers with a certificate of good manufacturing practices issued by the Ministry of Health can produce veterinary medicines.
Several companies said they only used antimicrobial material in food for sea animals, although in reality they sold them to veterinary units, which would eventually sell them to marine animal farms, Dung said.
During a product examination, a company purchasing shrimps in southern Ca Mau Province found antibiotic residue in up to 15 per cent of the total quantity of shrimps, according to the ministry’s Specialised Inspection Division.
The ministry’s inspectors will continue highlighting the issue in a key inspection programme next year to put an end to the use of antibiotics in aquaculture.
Such programmes needs close collaboration with the health sector to be effective, Dung said.