Severe shortcomings cited in some Asia slaughterhouses
Severe shortcomings from violations of animal welfare to bacterial contamination have been found in some of Asia's slaughterhouses, published data said on Tuesday. ( dpa )
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) expert Gunter Heinz cited a "lack of proper slaughtering and by-product handling facilities and careless slaughtering by workers," according to The Straits Times report.
Slaughterhouse standards in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Myanmar appear relatively acceptable in terms of hygiene and practices, the study said. But conditions can range from acceptable to downright dangerous in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
There is an increasing tendency toward producing good quality chilled meat for domestic sales in most Asian countries, the Bangkok-based Heinz said. But such production accounts for only around 15 per cent of the overall meat market in some countries.
The rest is still provided by small and medium-scale private-sector abbatoirs, which supply warm meat to markets without refrigeration, the report said.
Some of this meat finds its way to modern supermarkets after being chilled. Contaminated to begin with by appalling hygiene at its origin, the meat then undergoes prolonged storage.
"This is the sector where profound technical and hygienic improvements are needed in order to supply clean meat to consumers," Heinz said in his report.
Increasingly more people are eating meat, particularly in formerly poor countries with vibrant economies. Between 1960 and the current decade, worldwide meat production has approximately quadrupled.