Amid flu fears, Thailand destroys 24 tonnes of smuggled pork

PHOTO: 24 tonnes of pork smuggled into Thailand was destroyed Monday. (via Thai PBS)

In a blow to meat lovers in Thailand, 24 tonnes of smuggled pork were destroyed yesterday. The tragedy took place after the Department of Livestock Development identified Brazilian pork snuck across the border illegally with no documentation.

The pork was seized on September 11 when it was uncovered in Samut Prakan. It was being stockpiled in a cold storage facility in the Bangkok suburb province. Authorities were not presented with any documentation that could prove that the meat had been legally imported.

Brazil does not have any agreement with Thailand for the importing of pork, according to the Livestock Department. It is also one of the countries where African Swine Fever has been found.

Authorities fear that unregulated meat could bring swine fever into Thailand where it could spread and taint more meat. The suspect pork was collected and transported by truck to a quarantine facility in the Phayuha Khiri district of Nakhon Sawan province.

There, the 24 tonnes of pork was sent to a local landfill on Monday where it was buried.

The pork was likely shipped from Brazil to a neighbouring country of Thailand like Laos or Cambodia and then smuggled in trucks across the border illegally. Pork smuggling has been an issue repeatedly in Thailand since the pork shortage at the beginning of this year.

Just this month, a series of pork busts seized about nine million baht of illegal meat around the country. On September 8, eight tonnes of frozen pork were uncovered in the Northeastern province of Maha Sarakham. And in the south of Thailand, authorities seized 12.2 tonnes of illegal pork on September 14 in Songkhla.

The 24 tonnes that the Livestock Department buried in the landfill Monday brings the total pork seizures this month to at least 44.2 tonnes, as authorities try to protect Thailand from the spread of the African Swine Fever.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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