The Hong Kong Jockey Club could face a compensation bill of up to HK$10 million to farmers after hundreds of thousands of fish in the region were given contaminated horse feed, according to the South China Morning Post.
Six months ago, the Jockey Club unloaded 2,000 bags of feed after they were discovered to contain the muscle-building compound zilpaterol, a substance commonly used in cattle and pig feed but banned for use in horses in Hong Kong. A club spokesperson said the bags were improperly transferred to an external party and ultimately ended up being used as fish feed at nine local fisheries.
Freshwater fish, such as striped mullet, tilapia, dace and grass carp, generally take around eight months to reach a harvestable size and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department insist that the error was caught before any contaminated fish were sold.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club will likely pay compensation to the nine farmers as high as HK$5 for each fish affected, which could total near HK$10 million. So far, at least four of the farmers have agreed to the terms, and the Jockey Club said it was in the process of working out the details of disposing of the contaminated fish.
Read more at the South China Morning Post
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