Laid to rest: Thai authorities bury 4.5 million kg of illicit pork in Chon Buri

Picture courtesy of Khaosod.

The Department of Livestock Development, along with other key agencies, has begun the process of burying over 4.5 million kilogrammes of illicit pork, seized at Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri.

This gargantuan task, involving 161 shipping containers of illicit pork, is set to be completed within eight days at the Animal Feed Research and Development Centre in Sa Kaeo. However, residents are expressing concerns over possible environmental impacts, including foul odours and underground water contamination.

The second day of the operation saw the containers being weighed at the Animal Feed Research and Development Centre in Sa Kaeo before the illicit pork was transported to a burial site at the rear of the centre. The site spans over 10 acres, with four prepared pits, each being 9 metres wide, 4 metres deep and 150 metres long.

Boonyakris Pinprasong, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Livestock Development, visited the illicit pork site to ensure the smooth running of the operation. He assured that the operation is being closely monitored by experts to minimise the impact on the local community.

Particularly, the concerns about underground water contamination, which could potentially affect local water sources approximately 2 kilometres away.

The officials are using canvas sheets to line the bottom of the pits and are monitoring the quality of the underground water both before and after the operation.

Foul smells

Addressing concerns about foul smells, the deputy director-general confirmed that based on previous experiences from similar operations in Phetchaburi and other locations, no adverse effects were reported. Boonyakris explained that the 4.5 million kilogrammes of pork being buried is only meat, with no organs that could potentially produce gas in the burial pits.

Prasit Toyting, the Livestock Officer of Sa Kaeo, disclosed that digging the pits in this mountainous area was challenging due to the large rocks. The officials have to distribute the pork for burial to keep the level of the soil above the pork at 4 metres, or they may have to double the amount of soil used for burial to avoid foul smells affecting nearby communities.

Chanathip Kokmani, the Sa Kaeo Provincial Secretary, met with community leaders in the Klong Had district to discuss their concerns about potential foul smells and underground water contamination from the burial pits to local water sources. He has agreed to closely monitor the situation and extend the unloading period to reduce the impact of odours.

The officials have already buried over 20 containers of illicit pork using two cranes to lift the containers and at least two backhoes to expedite the burial process. They also use tractors to maintain the access roads, preventing the large container trucks from getting stuck due to the heavy rains during this monsoon season.

The provincial governor, Thammasorn Phromphao, the Minister of Agriculture, is scheduled to preside over the closing ceremony of the burial operation of the last container of illicit pork within eight days, Khaosod reported.

Follow more of The Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page HERE.

Environment NewsThailand News

Atima Homtientong

Atima is a dedicated news writer living in Bangkok. With a degree from Mahidol University, she focuses on reporting key issues and happenings around the country. In her off time, Atima enjoys writing and producing music.

Related Articles