Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New rules to check ‘rubbish’ pork and illegal abattoirs

PUTRAJAYA: New regulations will be implemented to stop pig farmers from sending livestock to illegal abattoirs, resulting in low quality pork, said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Chua Tee Yong.

Licences for farms found to have traded or supplied low quality or “rubbish” pork or those who had sent their pigs to illegal abattoirs would be revoked.

New health certificates would only be issued to farms that could prove that their pigs were slaughtered at legal abattoirs.

“I have instructed that the new directive and measures be implemented as soon as possible as I do not want these perpetrators to profit at the expense of consumer health and safety.

“There is no existing livestock regulation that enables us to take action against farmers who send livestock to illegal abattoirs or who are involved in trading, supplying or selling rubbish' pork,” Chua told a press conference yesterday.

He said pig farmers would also need to sign a letter of commitment promising not to supply “rubbish” pork or send their pigs to illegal abattoirs.

One in five pigs is slaughtered in illegal abattoirs due to the lower fees charged.

Illegal abattoirs typically earn RM7mil in yearly revenue and their fees are low due to poor equipment and disposal methods.

Chua said nearly half a million pigs were slaughtered in 2009 and 2010 by illegal abattoirs that charged about RM14 compared to the RM26 charged by licensed ones.

He called illegal abattoirs “venues for handling dead, diseased pigs or those unsuited for slaughtering in legal abattoirs”.

“I strongly condemn the actions of some farmers, sellers, food processors and those involved in both the illegal abattoir and the rubbish' pork trade. They are all profiting at the expense of consumer health and safety,” he said.

Chua urged farmers, pork sellers, food processors and consumers to report those involved in selling bad pork or the existence of illegal abattoirs to his ministry or the Health Ministry.

Official pledge: Chua showing the letter of commitment while Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia secretary-general Jeffrey Beh looks on during the press conference Monday.

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