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MAF investigation continues

9 November 2001

MAF investigation continues

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) is thanking Canterbury farmers and livestock owners for their help so far in tracking down the origins of the feed that killed the Sumatran Tiger at Wellington Zoo. Says MAF Food Assurance Authority Director Animal Products, Dr Tony Zohrab: "Earlier in the week we asked all Canterbury livestock owners, who had had horse or cattle euthanased in the past three months, to call us.

"The result has been a number of calls and some very useful information. We are now reminding those, who may not have called yet, to do so."

The numbers for Canterbury livestock owners to call (collect, during office hours) are 04 474 4156 and 04 498 9809.

Dr Zohrab said MAF was also contacting practice vets from Timaru to Waipara and asking them to report all horse and cattle chemically euthanased in the past three months.

Current estimates were that the investigation would take "at least another week and a half", he said.

Other investigative action taken or about to be taken by MAF includes:

* using lab tests to establish the presence of pentabarbitone in both the pet food and the tiger;
* visiting a number of Canterbury locations in order to establish how material destined for pet food became contaminated, and whether or not legal requirements were met; and
* evaluating existing controls on and supervision of the sourcing and manufacture of pet food.

For more information contact Tony Zohrab, Director Animal Products, MAF Food Assurance Authority, 04 474 4179, 021 673 423 or Anthony Keesing, MAF Director Corporate Communications, 04 498 9882 or 025 271 1042


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