Salmon company Tassal tried to block release of report on antibiotic use, documents show
Memo to Tasmania’s Environmental Protection Agency reveals standoff with company after more than two tonnes of oxytetracycline used at fish farms.
Tasmania’s largest salmon company, Tassal, sought to block the release of monitoring reports submitted to the state’s Environment Protection Agency (EPA) after using more than two tonnes of antibiotics at two of its fish farms.
In early January 2022, Tassal and Huon Aquaculture reported outbreaks of vibrio, a bacterium the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association says can cause an infection with a “high mortality rate”.
To treat the outbreak, Tassal used 675kg of a broad-spectrum antibiotic, oxytetracycline, at its Sheppards lease near Coningham, just south of Hobart. An internal memo obtained under right to information laws reveals that EPA staff reported that there was a “sticking point” in discussions with Tassal, which dated back to the company’s argument that the monitoring report on a previous use of antibiotics in 2020 should not be made public.
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