Finding angel dust ‘shows traceability systems are working’

The identification of angel dust in a beef animal last week by the Department of Agriculture and the subsequent traceability actions demonstrate the effectiveness of the food safety regulatory system, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has said.

Clenbuterol, which is also known as angel dust, is a steroid which promotes leaner muscle growth and was found in a sample taken from a beef animal at ABP Clones, Co. Monaghan last week.

The FSAI has confirmed that it has carried out a risk assessment in relation to this incident and that this incident related to one cow.

As the matter is under investigation, a spokesperson for the FSAI said it had no further comment to add.

Meanwhile, Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) President Patrick Kent has condemned without reservation the use of the banned substance clenbuterol.

Kent was speaking following confirmation that a sample taken from a beef animal has tested positive for the substance.

This regrettable incident has however shown that our systems for traceability are working, and that any such transgressions will be detected.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that it has placed all animals on the farm that the animal came from under restriction pending the completion of the investigation.

The animal in question came from a Co. Monaghan farm and was one of a number which were sold to the factory. However, whether the other cattle had angel dust in their system remains unknown.

It is understood that the Department of Agriculture’s Special Investigations Unit raided the farm last week and seized a large quantity of the drug.

The test was carried out under the national residues control plan, which the Department uses to randomly sample meat entering the food chain for banned substances.

While the number of animals that tested positive for residues was down in 2014, 13 animals tested positive for the potential use of growth promoters in the year.