Tests done on dead cattle at the NFC revealed "severe copper poisoning", says Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.
KUALA LUMPUR: In a new twist to the ongoing National Feedlot Centre (NFC) saga, DAP’s Tony Pua today revealed that cows at the cattle farm had suffered from “severe copper poisoning”.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said that he found out about this from documents which showed that tests conducted by the Veterinary Services Department on half a dozen dead cows at the centre in June 2011.
“All the tests indicated copper levels well-above the normal range for cattle,” said Pua, DAP’s national publicity chief.
When asked how dangerously high the level of copper were, he smiled and replied: “Well it can kill cows…”
In one case, a cattle’s liver was found to have 172.98 parts per million (ppm) as opposed to the range for a normal healthy cattle which is at 25-100ppm.
The same cattle’s kidney was “even worse”, according to Pua, containing 43.71 ppm compared to the normal 4-6 ppm.
According to one report, this condition could have been caused by a prolonged feeding of high copper content Palm Kernel Cake (PKC).
“This is a matter of serious concern as meat and meat products from diseased cows may have been sold for human consumption in Malaysia,” Pua told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Pua called on Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Noh Omar to respond to these new revelations.
“How many cows have died at NFC under such circumstances, and if the numbers are significant, are these cows properly disposed of?
“We need an assurance from the minister that such carcasses will not be sold as fresh meat to unknowing Malaysians who rely on officers from the ministry to ensure health standards,” he said.
Pua also asked if the ministry had done thorough tests to ensure such poisoning was not widespread and other cows are not affected.
“It can only be deduced that other cows may have suffered from excessive levels of copper as well, but may not have died in the process.”
Pua also asked if the Ministry of Health has been informed of the issue and had done the necessary checks to ensure the the meat are healthy for Malaysians.
“The BN government must not try to cover up the entire NFCorp scandal, as in this case, not only is the tax-payers’ monies involved, the health of ordinary Malaysians are also at stake.”