Minister’s pork order: 4,300 tonnes of smuggled pork ‘trashed’ in Sa Kaeo landfill

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post.

The Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thamanat Prompow commanded that the disposal of approximately 4,300 tonnes of unlawfully smuggled pork be carried out in a Sa Kaeo landfill. The pork was earlier seized at Laem Chabang port during a Department of the Special Investigation (DSI) probe in July. The confiscated shipment, valued at over 500 million baht, comprised 161 containers.

Thamanat emphasised that the ministry is prioritising the prevention and crackdown of illicit agricultural imports, particularly smuggled pork. This strategy is aimed at precluding potential animal pandemics, thwarting market manipulation, and safeguarding consumers.

The Department of Livestock Development has been entrusted with managing the carcass burial at the Animal Nutrition Research and Development Centre landfill in Sa Kaeo. A joint effort will be required, with officials from the Royal Thai Police, the DSI, the Swine Raisers Association of Thailand, and the Customs Department participating in the operation, according to the Department of Livestock Development’s director-general, Dr Somchuan Ratanamungklanon.

According to Dr Somchuan, the entire procedure, which will adhere to the World Organisation for Animal Health’s standard process, is expected to take five days. Six large pits lined with polyethene will be used to bury the smuggled pork, preventing the surrounding area from being contaminated by decomposition. Furthermore, pipes will be installed in these pits to safely discharge the gases produced during decomposition.

Dr Somchuan highlighted the concern that smuggled pork could potentially be a carrier of African swine fever, a highly infectious and deadly disease.

From the first of October last year to the end of August this year, Thailand has confiscated approximately 1,142 tonnes of smuggled pork in 238 separate cases, excluding the DSI seizure. The seized pork, worth 190 million baht, has mostly been disposed of, with 1,049 tonnes already processed.

In a notable incident in June, over ten tonnes of unlawfully imported frozen pork were seized from a cold storage facility in Samut Sakhon, Bangkok Post reported.

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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.

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