A Tierra del Fuego sheep farmer has been banned by Chilean sanitary authorities from selling lambs and mutton to the European Union for having violated a self regulated sanitary and flock management program, reports Punta Arenas, La Prensa Austral.
According to Chile's Agriculture and Livestock Service, SAG, Estancia "Maria Isabel" was de-listed for twelve months from the EU Magallanes and Tierra del Fuego farms' certified roster for having used a non registered anti-parasite product that furthermore was allegedly smuggled in from Argentina. "The decision was reached following the proven irregularities committed in the farm belonging to Mr. Juan Carlos Cavada", said SAG regional director Carlos Rowland. Chile has an officially certified flocks program, PABCO, which contrary to the rest of the country is voluntary and direct responsibility of the same farmers. The system is demanded by the EU to ensure good sanitary and management conditions of the flocks from which lambs will be slaughtered and exported, guaranteeing that food is innocuous. "In this context we detected the use of Bagomecticina (anti parasite), an Argentine pharmaceutical which is not registered in Chile and therefore we recorded the proceedings and gave course to sanctions and legal actions", said Rowland. Whoever signs PABCO must abide by its conditions and if not "will be eliminated from the registry" added Rowland who said the sanction also includes a fine equivalent to 2.000 US dollars per month until the end of the process. Apparently the farmer involved is going to appeal arguing that the principle of private property has been violated by SAG authorities. However Rowland indicated that "we were lucky, and he was lucky that we detected the offense and not a national inspection team or from the EU, because that would have questioned and imperiled the whole official certification process of the region". "We believe it's very dangerous and most irresponsible to introduce non authorized products to Chile. This is a threat for the whole sheep farming industry in the region".