Confusion over contaminated feed and animal movement restrictions on more than 130 farms supplied by Midland Feeds has been this week clarified by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
According to cattle and sheep feed suppliers Midland Feeds, its customers had been left in limbo following contradictory messages about what to do going forward when a routine farm sample of its cereal blend product exposed fragments of dry bone.
On further testing of the feed in its Staunton store, samples of the cereal blend were also found to contain two ‘microscopic’ bone fragments which led to the store being put on restriction on April 16.
While testing confirmed the bone fragments were not from cattle, sheep, pig or poultry, the APHA said it clamped down on the 78 sites using the feed to prevent any further issues.
Midland Feeds said it prompted the agency to then test intake samples of its feed ingredients after confirming it only ‘grinds and blends’ ingredients supplied by others. Two sources came back with positive results for dry bone fragments.
A further 50 farms were then also put under restrictions when samples of Midland Feeds cereal mixture product was also found to be contaminated.
An APHA spokesman said: “Following further testing all restrictions on livestock movements linked to this incident have now been lifted.
“We have strict biosecurity measures in place and took swift action in this case to avoid disease spread of other problems that can be caused by contaminated feed.”
A Midland Feeds spokesman added: “There is no question that this incident has caused our customers extreme hardship and distress.
“The existence of the minute dry fragments of bone in some samples led to APHA carrying out ruminant DNA tests, which in some samples proved positive.
“Our cereal blend and cereal mixture contain an element of chocolate. It has been confirmed by APHA that dairy based products could show a positive result for ruminant DNA due to the inclusion of milk powder.”