Only Federal intervention can stop salmon industry antibiotics dumps in Tasmanian waters


Action to halt the outrageous misuse of antibiotics in the Atlantic salmon industry in Tasmania must be implemented urgently. Tasmania's peak marine protection body, TAMP, says there's now clear evidence that the multinational salmon companies have captured the Federal regulator of antibiotic use in animals.

"Federal fisheries minister, Senator Murray Watt, must step in immediately and crack down on - or eliminate entirely - the use of antibiotics by industrial salmon multinationals in Tasmanian public waterways," says Peter George, TAMP spokesperson.
"The latest evidence of misuse of antibiotics in the salmon industry clearly points to the regulator doing the industry's bidding."
"Sanctioning the use of dangerous antibiotics to treat overcrowded, disease-ridden salmon feedlots shows how the industry has captured the regulator - exactly as law firm Clayton Utz warned last year in its damning review of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)."

TAMP's call for Federal action follows news that antibiotic residues at almost five times the permitted levels have been found in wild fish near salmon feedlots of the biggest industrial salmon producer, Tassal. The story was first reported in the Tasmanian Inquirer and later in The Guardian.

"The regulator is allowing antibiotic residues in food that are double the European standard imposed because of growing human resistance to antibiotics, a major global health concern," says Peter George.
"It makes a mockery of the industry's hollow claims to be 'world's best practice'.
"Independent studies have already found more than one third of salmon sold in supermarkets is antibiotic resistant - but to discover wild fish that can be caught by unsuspecting fishers is way above permitted standards is yet one more salmon industry scandal.
"Senator Watt needs to step in and direct the APVMA to halt the dangerous misuse of antibiotics and show that he is prepared to ensure proper regulation of dangerous chemicals finding their way into human food."
  • Further information: Peter George, Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection, 0426 150 369