January 7th, 2011
EU Business: German officials said Friday they had shut 4,700 farms and destroyed more than 100,000 eggs, as a widening crisis over tainted animal feed rocked the country, with authorities suspecting illegal activity. Follow up:
They will be closed until they are found to be clear of contamination with dioxin, a toxic chemical compound that can cause cancer if ingested in large doses, and will not be allowed to make any deliveries, Holger Eichele said.
"This strategy has led, as expected, to a very high number of closures, which will be reduced in the coming days as tests are carried out," he added.
Nearly all types of farms, especially those rearing pigs, have been affected by the closures in eight of Germany's 16 states, the agriculture ministry said. There are around 375,000 farms in Germany.
The firm Harles und Jentzsch in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein is alleged to have supplied up to 3,000 tonnes of contaminated fatty acids meant only for industrial use to around 25 animal feed makers. Read more at EU Business....
A spokesman for German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner told a regular news conference: "4,709 farms and businesses are currently closed," including 4,468 in the state of Lower Saxony, northwest Germany.