Hog feed investigation protects meat supply

By Peter Kent

hogHog producers faced a potential threat this spring when feed imported from China was found to be contaminated with melamine. One South Carolina farm purchased feed that contained the suspect wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate.

As a result, Clemson Livestock and Poultry Health officials quarantined approximately 500 hogs at the farm. The Clemson veterinarians worked with the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service, as well as the state Department of Agriculture, to conduct a thorough investigation.

The potentially affected feed was identified, and feed and urine samples were collected for testing by the FDA. Feed samples were found to be negative for melamine contamination; extremely low levels of melamine were detected in the urine. The hogs were found to be healthy and the quarantine was lifted.

“Surveillance and inspection are ongoing activities to ensure that South Carolina’s meat supply remains safe and plentiful,” said Tony Caver, director of Livestock and Poultry Health programs.

For information: Tony Caver, 803-788-2260, jcaver@clemson.edu