by discovery of illegal hormone Elaine Watson Killing has ground to a halt at a raft of Dutch slaughterhouses after an illegal hormone was discovered in wet pig feed supplying scores of farms. Slaughtering of pigs from 55 farms known to have bought wet feed containing the banned substance MPA from Belgian company Bioland Liquid Sugars, has been blocked. A further 300 farms supplied by a compound feed producer that bought molasses from Bioland have also been blocked as a precaution, said Dutch Meat Board UK md Robert Smith. Contaminated feed from 64 other compounders was traced and immediately withdrawn before farmers started using it, said Smith. The blocks will remain in force until test results show no further traces of MPA in the feed or the animals. Given MPA is a contraceptive, and doesn't promote growth in pigs, the contamination is being treated as an act of sabotage, and Belgian authorities have launched a criminal investigation. Although the hormone represents no risk to public health, the authorities have responded quickly to restore public confidence in the meat supply chain by fast-tracking the introduction of enhanced systematic controls on Dutch pig farms, said Smith. Such controls are already planned at EU level but the Netherlands is the first country to implement the new system, said Smith. Contaminated feed may have been exported to Germany, and several farms in Belgium are now under surveillance after piglets shipped from the Netherlands tested positive for the banned substance. Urgent investigations are under way to trace all of Bioland's clients after the Belgian Food Safety Authority found traces of MPA in soft drinks from two companies Bioland supplied with glucose syrup. Affected batches have been withdrawn from sale. Bioland filed for bankruptcy in May, which has made the task of gathering information more difficult, added Smith. As The Grocer went to press, the UK Food Standards Agency said it was still waiting to find out whether any contaminated pigs had entered the UK supply chain. {{NEWS }}