Farmers Blamed for Creating Pork Shortage

MALAYSIA - The repercussions of the discovery that some pig farmers have been using beta-agonist includes pork sellers accusing farmers of creating an artificial shortage of pork.
calendar icon 13 January 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Pork sellers are blaming some pig farmers, especially those in the central and northern region, for the wanton use of beta-agonist, a banned growth substance, to breed the livestock, reports New Straits Times. They also alleged that some farmers are phasing out female and suckling pigs to create an artificial shortage.

President of the Federation of Malaysia Pork Sellers Associations, Goh Chui Lai, said the latest information from the Veterinary Department revealed that at least five farmers were caught using beta-agonist recently.

He said the figure could be just the tip of the iceberg, as some farmers could have disposed of their livestock before enforcement officers went to inspect their farms.

At a press conference, Mr Goh said: "Instead of sending their livestock to the licensed abattoir, these farmers send them to illegal slaughterhouses to evade detection. They do not seem to bother about the well-being of consumers.

"I hope the Veterinary Department will come down hard on them to serve as a deterrent."

The association represents about 3,000 members.

About 5,000 pigs are consumed daily, which is much lower than the 11,000 recorded before the outbreak of the Nipah virus in 2000.

Mr Goh said the way farmers manipulated pig supply had led to a drastic hike in the ex-farm price of pigs from 460 ringgit (MYR) per 100kg in 2007 to MYR760 at present.

He believed the farmers had started phasing out female and suckling pigs since June last year, and pork sellers had started to feel the impact recently because of severe shortage.

According to New Straits Times, Mr Goh appealed to the agriculture and agro-based industry Ministry to allow the opening of more farms and for seasonal import of pork from neighbouring countries.

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