MAF seeks help of livestock owners

07 November 2001

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) is seeking the help of Canterbury farmers and other livestock owners to track down the origins of the feed that killed the Sumatran Tiger at Wellington Zoo.

Says Director Animal Products MAF Food Assurance Authority, Dr Tony Zohrab: "We are interested in events from the past three months, in all Canterbury livestock owners who have had a vet euthanase either a horse or cattle. We are asking all such Canterbury livestock owners to call 04 474 4156 or 04 498 9809 (collect, during office hours) and report the incident."

Dr Zohrab said MAF was also actively considering asking Canterbury vets to identify horses or cows they had euthanased in the same time period.

He said that MAF was DNA testing the meat eaten by the tiger in order to establish whether it was horse or cow, and with the intention of using test results to help identify the specific origins of the pet food that killed the tiger.

MAF was:

  • using lab tests to establish the presence of pentabarbitone in both the pet food and the tiger;
  • visiting a number of Canterbury locations in order to establish how material destined for pet food became contaminated, and whether or not legal requirements were met;
  • and would be evaluating existing controls on and supervision of the sourcing and manufacture of pet food.

For more information contact:

Tony Zohrab, Director Animal Products, MAF Food Assurance Authority or
Anthony Keesing, MAF Director Corporate Communications

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33