Saudi Arabia

Saudi Agriculture Ministry: No Truth in Rumours Regarding Meat Consumption During Withdrawal Period Causing Diseases in Humans

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture said that the information being circulated in the media regarding the consumption of meat during the withdrawal period and its possible cause for liver and kidney diseases in humans, which may include cancerous tumours, is inaccurate.

The withdrawal period is the minimum period of time that must elapse between the last administration of a veterinary medicine for an animal and the slaughter or production of food from that animal.

The ministry reaffirmed that the withdrawal period for veterinary medicines varies depending on the active ingredient, and the method of administering the dose, whether by injection or topical use. According to the ministry, the scientific analysis in dividing medicines is based on infection control vaccines, which have a globally specific prohibition period; viral diseases’ antibiotics, which have a precise withdrawal period, and external inflammatory diseases’ mastitis-abscess, which are subject to a temporary withdrawal period.

In a related development, the ministry and the National Centre for the Prevention and Control of Plant Pests and Animal Diseases (WEQAA) are overseeing slaughterhouses in various regions of the Kingdom to ensure that the animals have not been injected with any veterinary preparations, and this is done by examining the animals after slaughter. This inspection includes more than 380 slaughterhouses throughout the Kingdom, and this will be under the supervision of more than 1,050 veterinarians, who carefully examine more than 22,000 carcasses daily to ensure that they are safe and free of diseases, injuries, or traces of injections, and that they are fit for human consumption.

The ministry urged citizens and residents to have their animals slaughtered in official slaughterhouses that are subject to the supervision of the Ministry and WEQAA. The ministry, in cooperation with WEQAA, monitors the use of veterinary products in the areas of animal health, and conducts inspections at outlets selling veterinary preparations to ensure that establishments implement the necessary standards and requirements and to clarify the withdrawal period to consumers.

The regulatory authorities in the Kingdom play precise roles in clearing veterinary medicines, with very high standards. The ministry also carries out field supervision of veterinary pharmacies, in accordance with specific and precise requirements, to ensure the storage conditions of medicines and their expiration dates.


Saudi Gazette

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