6 June 2024

Thailand’s pig farmers have proposed that a joint working committee, between the government and the private sector, be urgently established to deal with the widespread smuggling of pork into the country, after customs officials at Laem Chabang deep-sea port seize more than four million kilograms of illegally imported pork in unclaimed cargo containers.

Representatives of pig-raising associations and groups across the country were recently taken to the port to attend a briefing about the smuggled meat.

They were told that, of 189 unclaimed cargo containers, 140 contain pork and carcasses in the process of being illegally imported into the country. The contraband meat has been handed over to the Livestock Development Department to be destroyed.

Surachai Sutthitham, president of the Swine Raisers Association of Thailand, who led the trip to Laem Chabang port, said he has proposed the setting up of a committee, comprising representatives of pig raiser associations, the Customs and Livestock Development departments and police, deal with the pork smuggling problem.

He noted that the seized pork might be just a fraction of the amount smuggled into the country each year, adding that the problem poses a serious threat to local pig raisers and food security.

Citing Laem Chabang as the main gateway for foreign imports arriving by sea, Surachai said that the pork smuggling gangs have shown that they are not afraid of the law.

During the briefing, senior customs officials told the pig farmers that they knew the identities of the importers and shipping officials and the best they can do is to impound the illegal products, but have no power to take legal action against them.