The 2,000 traditional slaughterhouses in Ha Noi must be closed to develop modern, clean abattoirs, Nguyen Huy Dang, Ha Noi's Deputy Director of Agriculture Department, told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
A number of modern abattoirs around the city, which cost hundreds of billions of dong to build, are about to close. Meanwhile, many unhygienic traditional slaughterhouses are still operating. How does the city authority view the problem?
It is in fact a thorny problem. Assuring food hygiene and safety for the millions of people living in the city is critical.
The city has repeatedly requested that local people's committees ban traditional slaughtering. In suburban districts, we have ordered the construction of industrial and semi-industrial abattoirs. The city has also issued policies to encourage enterprises to focus on food safety and hygiene.
However, all five enterprises operating industrial abattoirs in the city are facing difficulties and the threat of bankruptcy because they cannot compete with the huge number of traditional slaughterhouses.
The enterprises have invested lots of money in modern technology for their abattoirs but their working capacity is just 10 per cent. Household slaughterhouses do not have to pay fees for management, location rent and environmental protection, so they can save more money.
What is important now is to ban those traditional household slaughterhouses as soon as possible so we can ensure that meat is safe and disease-free.
What detailed measures will the city implement to support the five dying abattoirs?
Right now, we are focusing on an industrial abattoir in Dan Phuong District. We are working with the district People's Committee to create favourable conditions for the abattoir to operate. Specifically, the district will strictly close all traditional slaughterhouses and we are encouraging the enterprise to apply both semi-industrial and full-industrial slaughtering methods.
We expect other districts to issue bans on traditional slaughterhouses and build modern abattoirs soon.
I think the ban will help modern abattoirs in the city recover. Food from other provinces and cities will not be a problem as we have the quarantine system.
Why was the city's ban on traditional slaughterhouses ineffective?
I think it's because of the lack of strong action at the local level.
Local levels must make lists of traditional slaughterhouses. To my understanding, there are still 2,000 around the city.
Then the local authorities should ask slaughterhouse owners to sign a pledge to close down their facilities. If they continue to operate, they must be fined. — VNS