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Anger over Malpractice in Halal Chicken Slaughter

12 March 2014

MALAYSIA - Chickens, which were still alive after improper slaughter, were thrown into the boiling water while some of the dead birds were scattered on the floor in a wet market in Malaysia.

NewStraitsTimes reports that the discovery was made at the back of a wet market in Alor Star by officers of the Kedah Islamic Religious Department (Jaik), Alor Star City Council (MBAS) and the Kota Setar Health Office during a raid recently.

The team also found the three workers, who were tasked with slaughtering the birds, could not furnish a certificate to prove that they had undergone proper training.

They also found that the trio had failed to clean their knives each time a bird was slaughtered.

This had raised doubts about the halal status of the chicken slaughtered at the premises.

The raid was also carried out at other markets in Jalan Gangsa, Mergong and Kampung Berjaya.

The discovery during the spot-checks should vindicate the concern raised by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob recently that nearly 80 per cent of the 2,000 poultry slaughterhouses in the country are not licensed and registered with the Veterinary Services Department.

Mr Yaakob was quoted as saying that the premises were owned by small traders and the halal status was doubtful.

As such, he urged all state governments to enforce the Poultry Farming Enactment to ensure that all slaughterhouses are licensed and registered so that the authorities, including the Islamic Development Department, can monitor their operations.

Errant operators can be fined up to RM2,000 and have their slaughterhouses ordered closed.

According to the Kedah Veterinary Services Department, there are about 100 poultry slaughterhouses in the state which are licensed by the local councils.

MBAS planning and corporate communications division director Bohari Md Yusof urged consumers to be wary when buying meat, especially chickens.

He advised consumers to be aware of the cleanliness level at the premises before buying the birds.

"However, the council and the relevant agencies will conduct spot-checks from time to time to make sure the slaughterhouses adhere to the regulations, especially on the hygiene and halal aspects," he said.

Meanwhile, in Perlis, checks revealed that only two out of the 21 poultry slaughterhouses in the state were licensed.

However, state Islamic Affairs committee chairman Khairi Hassan assured the public that although the 19 premises, mostly owned by small traders, did not apply for licence from the Veterinary Services Department, there was no issue with their halal status.

Mr Hassan said all the premises were authorised by the Perlis Islamic Religious Department (JAIPs) and were constantly monitored.

"Officers from JAIPs conduct regular spot-checks at the premises to ensure that they abide by the Islamic slaughtering regulation.

"We also make sure that the operators maintain good hygiene and so far, we have not received any complaint," he said.

Mr Hassan said besides checking their halal status, the authorities also inspected the premises for other requirements such as hygiene and sewage management.

Mr Hassan said JAIPs had issued authorisation cards to 53 individuals in the state.

Meanwhile, Kangar Municipal Council (MPK) secretary Suhaimi Abdul Majid said it had proposed that a centralised poultry centre be set up in the state so that it would be easier for the relevant authorities to monitor its operation.

"We had forwarded the proposal to the state government and the matter had been discussed several times," he said.

In response to Ismail's call for state governments to enforce the Poultry Farming Enactment, he said the state government would study the matter from all aspects.

TheMeatSite News Desk



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