A slaughterhouse in Da Nang in central Vietnam has been fined VND87.5 million, or nearly US$4,000, for giving chickens a carcinogenic industrial dye for eye-catching skin.
Officials checked the private abattoir of Nguyen Cong Ngoc last month but only issued the penalty Friday.
Ngoc was found mixing gold coloring powder in water to dye the chickens before delivering them to the market. He sold around more than 100 chickens a day.
He said the chickens sell better with gold-colored skin. Many Vietnamese believe they taste better than chickens with white, pale skin.
The chemical, Auramine O, which is used as a paint and industrial dye, is banned in animal farming in Vietnam. It is known to have cause cancers.
But no matter how many times Vietnamese agriculture officials have condemned the trick as “unethical,” it remains common with the chemical easily found at markets.