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Dutch retailers withdraw eggs over fipronil concerns
Many supermarket chains have removed Dutch eggs from their shelves.
Insecticide banned for use on animals intended for consumption

Dutch retailers are withdrawing eggs from their shelves over fears they could be contaminated with fipronil.

Traces of the insecticide were reportedly found in Belgium and the Netherlands last month, which has led to some poultry farms shutting down and to supermarkets halting the sale of eggs.

According to news agency Reuters, German authorities are working to examine all egg supplies and to determine where they originated. But German agriculture minister Christian Schmidt said the likelihood of a health hazard was very unlikely.

"The situation is under control, but we cannot give the all-clear signal yet ... We are taking this very seriously," Schmidt told the Straubinger Tagblatt/Landshuter Zeitung newspaper group.

Last week the Dutch Food and Safety Authority (NVWA) issued a warning to consumers urging them to avoid a specific type of egg recognisable by specific serial numbers. However, some 180 cattle farms, rearing companies and hatcheries have been temporarily shut down.

Many supermarket chains including Penny and Germany’s REWE have removed Dutch eggs from their shelves. On Friday, Aldi stores confirmed that is has halted all egg sales, regardless of origin. Albert Heijn - the country’s largest supermarket - also said that it has removed two-thirds of the eggs it normally sells.

Often used in veterinary products against mites, fleas and ticks, fipronil is banned for use on animals intended for consumption. For the World Health Organisation (WHO) fipronil is “moderately toxic” to humans and, in large quantities, it can damage the kidney, liver or thyroid gland. 

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."