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18,000 Drugged Chickens Bring Fine For Owner

The owner of a poultry farm near Coventry has been fined after allowing dangerous antibiotics to possibly enter the human food chain through chicken medicine.

Mohammed Yaseen was been fined £3,000, with £3,012.50 costs, after admitting six breaches of food safety rules at Atherstone Magistrates Court.

Animal health officers from Warwickshire Trading Standards visited Kalyal Poultry in Tamworth Road, Fillongley in the summer of 1999 to give some routine advice.

They learned that some of the birds were given feed including salinomycin sodium, an antibiotic used to treat a parasitic disease called Coccidiosis.

But the officers discovered that some of Yaseen's chickens had been sent for slaughter before the antibiotics had been given enough time to pass through the birds systems.

The law states that poultry must be kept free from the medicines before they are slaughtered to make sure that there are no antibiotics still in them.

This is to stop antibiotics and other prescribed medicines from entering the human food chain and weakening  the effectiveness of antibiotics prescribed to humans.

Yaseen, aged 35, of Coventry Road, Small Heath Birmingham, pleaded guilty at Atherstone Magistrates Court six offences under the Animal and Animal Products (Examination for Residues and Maximum Residue Limits) Regulations 1997, made under the Food Safety Act 1990.

The total number of chickens involved was 18,874. Mr Yaseen did not offer any mitigation and was fined £500 on each of the offences. His firm has since ceased trading.

Magistrates described the offence as “very, very, serious'”

Noel Hunter, Director of Warwickshire Trading Standards said:

"Antibiotics are an important weapon in the fight against disease.

"Unfortunately, when antibiotics enter the human food chain in this way, they can weaken the effectiveness of other antibiotics given to humans.

"This is why we take these cases so seriously and why we felt it necessary to bring this prosecution."

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CWN / Politics / Warwickshire County Council / 10 Jan 01

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