Last update 5/18/2011 10:35:00 AM (GMT+7)

Survey finds unlicensed, unhygienic slaughterhouses

VietNamNet Bridge – Some 97 per cent of Viet Nam's 30,000 slaughterhouses were operating without the necessary paperwork and in residential areas rather than abattoirs, the Department of Animal Health reported yesterday, May 17.

A veterinary official examines the quality of pork at a slaughterhouse in Phu Nhuan Commune in the southern province of Ben Tre. (Photo: VNS)
At the meeting of the department with provincial leaders, department deputy head Pham Van Dong said most of the country's unqualified slaughterhouses were in the north where licensing levels were only 1 per cent.

He said the quantity of unhygienic meat being sold in residential markets was approaching a critical level.

The proportion of meat that did not meet the Ministry of Health's standards had increased from 57 per cent in 2009 to 61 per cent in 2010, he said.

Dong added that the majority of these poor samples were found in retail locations. "That means that the transport process is also making the meat dirty," he said.

Meanwhile the building of modern abattoirs was progressing very slowly, said the deputy head. In Ha Noi, 13 projects kicked off in 2009, but to date, only five were in operation.

Government spends $3.4 million on vaccines

The Prime Minister is allocating the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development VND70.6 billion (US$3.4 million) to buy vaccines and antiseptic.

As planned, over 2.1 million vaccine doses against cattle diseases as well as 597,000 litres of antiseptic and 151 tonnes of disinfectants will be stored up to help localities fight epidemics such as foot-and-mouth disease, blue-ear pig disease and bird flu.

Ha Noi People's Committee's vice chairman Nguyen Huy Tuong said abattoir planning was delayed because it depended on the capital's general planning strategy, which was not yet completed.

"Many businesses are not interested in investing in building abattoirs although the city has committed to supporting them by not charging the fees for land clearance, and by giving financial support for treating waste and land rental.

One reason for this is that there is a chance the abattoir won't be used after completion and the benefit won't be high," he said.

Tuong suggested that the country should develop a closed model in which animal raising was directly followed by slaughtering and distribution.

At the meeting, the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat urged provinces to reinspect abattoirs which were not licensed and punish them according to the law. He also asked the Government to draw up a general policy for all provinces. At the moment, each province was following a different path, he added.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News