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Pig raisers protest against import of pig meat from the US

Pig-raising associations throughout the country are protesting against what they alleged as forced import of pig meat from the US which Americans do not eat into Thailand.

A letter of protest was on Thursday (Aug 17) sent to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha through Pol Lt-Gen Chinpat Sarasin, a coordinator of Prime Minister's Office and the Interior Ministry.

Mr Surachai Sutthitham, president of Thai Swine Raisers Association, alleged the USTR had put pressure on the Thai government to narrow US trade deficit with Thailand by exporting pig meat such as intestines and pig heads which the Americans do not eat into Thailand.

However, he noted that since most pig raisers in the US use red meat enhancers such as ractopamine which is banned in Thailand, the imported US pig meat may pose a health hazard to Thai consumers.

He also said that most countries in Europe, Russia and China ban the use of red meat enhancers whereas the substances are widely used in the US.

Mr Surachai said pig raising in Thailand has substantially developed and the country produces more than enough of pig meat for consumption and there is no need to import pig meat from the US.

According to the association, the current pork supplies come from about 15 million pigs, which is enough for domestic consumption with only about 4-5 % surplus.There are about 300,000 pig farmings nationwide,

He warned that not only pig raisers would be affected if pig meat from the US is allowed to dump the Thai market, but maize farmers and animal feed producers would also be affected too.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)