Authorities are continuing to pursue the importers of illegal meat products, just days after nearly five tonnes of frozen chicken offal was intercepted on National Road 5 in Kampong Chhnang province’s Rolea Ba'ier district.
The authorities stopped the vehicle that transported the offal without a permit on November 19.
Kreung Sam Ath – head of the animal health and production bureau of the provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – said officers seized 345 cases with a combined weight of almost five tonnes.
“After the arrest, they handed over the contraband to us and it was destroyed on November 21,” he said.
Hun Sarath, head of an intervention team tasked with cracking down on the trafficking of animals and animal products, told The Post on November 21 that their investigation was ongoing.
“Our officers are monitoring the sources of illegal imports. Besides investigating work, we also conduct regular inspections of markets and wholesalers,” he said.
Sarath claimed that the import of illegal meat products to Cambodia was declining, thanks to strict measures to prevent it by border authorities.
“There have been a few cases, but we are having great success in apprehending the offenders. There don’t appear to be any large shipments getting through, because the amount of illegal products we are finding in the markets has declined steeply,” he said, adding that they would continue to work to ensure the value of local products and protect people’s health.
An online seller of frozen meat products, Siv Mey, told The Post on November 21 that she traded in pig’s intestines, tongues, brains and hearts.
She claimed that her products were chemical-free and sourced from domestic producers.
“I don’t buy from big wholesalers … because they are frozen and only slightly cheaper than fresh items,” she said.
Srun Pov, president of the Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association, said there was a lot of publicity about frozen meat production at the moment and the association was continuing an investigation to find out their exact sources.
As the investigation was ongoing, he was wary of suggesting that any of the products currently on the market were imported.
“We will wait until we have gathered sufficient evidence before we release any finding. However, the market is certainly slowing down, largely because of these allegations,” he added.