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Lithuania's Ministry of Agriculture cleaning up, head of pig breeding fired due to serious violations

Christian Fernsby |
The Board of the state owned company Kiaulių veislininkystė dismissed the director Vilius Rekš after the inspection of the State Food and Veterinary Service revealed that the company was thriving in the shadow trade, and basic hygiene conditions were not ensured.

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The board appointed an interim manager and instructed the company to announce the selection of a new manager.

The State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) found that the company was engaged in slaughter activities and produced meat products, although it declared that it did not. The company did not have a permit or the appropriate conditions to do so.

In that establishment, the pigs were transported to the slaughterhouse without being properly labeled and the meat products were produced without ensuring the necessary hygiene, food safety, traceability and handling of animal by-products, thus endangering consumers. It is suspected that there was also a shadow trade in meat products.

"What the inspectors found cannot be tolerated. Moreover, the shareholder of this company is the state. Surprisingly, the manager’s excuses and the intercession of some lobbyists that the shortcomings identified are minor and easy to correct. Therefore, I positively assess the decision of the Board of Kiaulių Veislininkystė to dismiss the director immediately, ”says Minister of Agriculture Kęstutis Navickas.

The SFVS also found serious violations in another state-owned enterprise, Panevėžio Veislininkystė. Its shareholders should meet in the near future to decide whether the manager can continue in office.

The audit of these companies is also being completed, which will reveal the real situation in state-owned companies.

The Ministry of Agriculture has also taken a decisive approach to the activities of other state-owned enterprises under its authority.

“Potential waste and looting of assets, balancing activities on the verge of legality, satisfaction of interests and lack of accountability in state-owned enterprises in the sector have been tolerated for too long. So far, the issue of liability has not been raised. That will not happen again. We audit companies and make decisive decisions, ”says Minister of Agriculture K. Navickas.

The management of Lietuvos Žirgynas was changed in the summer, as the legal audit of Lietuvos Žirgynas transactions and decisions initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture revealed that the company may have concluded fictitious contracts for the provision of brokerage services and horses are kept in inappropriate conditions.

The new head of the company met the expectations of the ministry - the situation at the stud farm improved.

Currently, the selection of the head of the company Jonavos Grūdai is underway, after the previous head was dismissed due to possible waste of funds.

An audit commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture revealed that one of the company's shareholders, Agrokoncerno Grūdai, used grain storage services on exceptional terms, which were granted to it alone. The Ministry of Agriculture has appealed to law enforcement for the waste and abuse of property.

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