Sun, Feb 13, 2005 - Page 2 News List

COA studying bad-pork solutions

FOOD SAFETY Measures could include a campaign to educate pig farmers as well as seizing the assets of those who make or distribute products from bad pork

CNA , TAIPEI

Lee Chin-lung, chairman of the Council of Agricultural Affairs, left, pats a sniffer dog during a visit to Chiang Kai-shek International Airport yesterday to inspect the work of quarantine officers and their sniffer dogs during the Lunar New Year holiday.

PHOTO: CNA

The Council of Agriculture will adopt a carrot and stick approach in an effort to prevent pork from pigs that are sick or have died before reaching slaughterhouses from entering the market.

Lee Chin-lung (李金龍), chairman of the Cabinet-level council, made the remarks during a visit to Chiang Kai-shek International Airport yesterday to inspect the work of quarantine officers and sniffer dogs during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Amid public concern that a large amount of pork from pigs that were sick or had died before reaching abattoirs has been sold by unscrupulous money-hungry criminal farmers in local meat markets, the council is studying ways to manage the problem at the grassroots level, Lee said.

The measures being studied include educating pig raisers on how to handle dead pigs properly and providing incentives to persuade them to send sick or dead pigs to plants that produce organic fertilizer, Lee said.

The council also plans to launch a campaign warning pig farmers not to sell their dead or sick pigs to meat markets so as not to undermine the sale of pork in the hope that they will follow government policy.

In addition, the council is studying measures to confiscate the assets of those who make pork products from sick and dead pigs, Lee said.

Last Sunday, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said the government would continue to arrest illegal meat suppliers and distributors selling bad pork.

Hsieh said the government would do whatsoever it can to punish those breaking the law.

"We want to seize their assets and make them so broke that they don't dare to do it again," he said.

Lee yesterday also took the opportunity to urge the public not to bring any fresh fruit or meat products into Taiwan, especially in light of the launch of cross-strait charter flights on Jan. 29 for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Noting that many Taiwanese are in the habit of bringing agricultural products into Taiwan from China, he said the council's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine has since Jan. 29 seized 640kg of smuggled agricultural and poultry products.

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