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Pork Price Controls Welcomed

by 5m Editor
19 January 2010, at 9:24am

MALAYSIA - The responsible Ministry is being urged to control farm prices for pig meat flooiwng a recent announcemnt that consumer prices will be controlled for the New Year celebrations.

The Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister's announcement that pork would be included in the price control list for the Chinese New Year festivities was a welcome move, said Malaysia Pork Consumers Association adviser, Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng.

The Star of Malaysia reports that he said: "However, a more effective measure is for the Domestic Trade Ministry to control the ex-farm pig price so that it stays at an acceptable level,"

Dr Lee was speaking at a press conference on behalf of the Malaysian Pork Consumers Association, Malaysian Pork Sellers Association, Selangor and Federal Territories Butchers Association and Pahang Butchers Association.

He added: "We also want to request that the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry allow the import of chilled pork from either Thailand or Vietnam to supplement the supply of local pork, especially now with the Chinese New Year around the corner.

"This will effectively make pork prices more affordable for consumers."

According to Dr Lee, the price of a live pig is 760 ringgit (MYR) per 100kg in Malaysia.

If chilled pork were to be imported, he said, the price would be MYR550 per 100kg from Thailand, and less than MYR500 per 100kg from Vietnam.

Despite having had several meetings with the Veterinary Services Department over the past six months, Dr Lee said, the associations had yet to reach an agreement with regard to their import request.

Dr Lee said: "Pork prices depend very much on supply and demand.

"If there is an acute shortage that is artificially created, the pork prices will shoot up and this will adversely affect consumers, particularly the Chinese community numbering about seven million.

"We want pork consumers to continue eating the meat, because if they switch to alternatives like chicken, there would be an increase in demand and price of chicken will go up, thereby affecting the Malay and Indian communities as well."

Dr Lee also urged the Health Ministry to monitor the use of beta-agonist, an illegal meat enhancer, which, he said, was still used by certain farmers to convert fat into lean meat.

To address the shortage of pork due to the closure of a number of pig farms in Selangor, Malacca and Negri Sembilan, Dr Lee said the Selangor government should revive the "high-tech, environment-friendly and culturally sensitive pig farm project" that was supposed to be set up in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor.

Meanwhile, he appealed to the Prime Minister’s Department and the relevant ministries to closely monitor pork prices, which he claimed was raised three to four times a month by the Federation of Livestock Farmers' Association, reports The Star.