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Phnom Penh plans to centralise slaughterhouses

A man loads pork onto a motorcycle at a Russey Keo district slaughterhouse in 2014.
A man loads pork onto a motorcycle at a Russey Keo district slaughterhouse in 2014. Hong Menea

Phnom Penh plans to centralise slaughterhouses

Phnom Penh City Governor Pa Socheatvong yesterday announced a push to count the capital’s abattoirs with the goal of consolidating the slaughter of livestock in a single location to better regulate health and safety.

“We will only have one slaughterhouse, because the current slaughterhouses are very disorganised,” Socheatvong said in a statement on the National Police website.

The statement said the new deputy head of the city’s agriculture department, Tem Savuth, had been appointed to oversee the operation. Currently, livestock are slaughtered at various locations throughout the city.

In Russey Keo district, animals are killed in the open-air on concrete surfaces before being taken to market, often with little or no regard for health and safety. Whle such locations are monitored by health officials, they are primarily on the lookout for diseased livestock.

Ministry of Agriculture Secretary of State Ourm Kim Sea said in the statement that the ministry will also spend $30,000 on a machine to carry out health inspections. No information was provided as to the specific function of the device.

City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada told the Post yesterday that a municipal working group was already in the process of counting the slaughterhouses. That information will then determine the needs of of the new facility, to be built in partnership with an unspecified private company.

“We have not found the location, but it must be outside the city,” he said noting that currently waste from the slaughterhouses goes into the sewage and clogs the pipes. The smell and noise also disturbed nearby residents.

Contacted yesterday, ruling party Senator Mong Reththy, head of the Mong Reththy group, which breeds pigs that are sold to the city’s slaughterhouses, said he supported the governor’s plan.

“Probably the Phnom Penh authorities could not manage to control a single slaughterhouse, possibly only the private company, but what the authority could do is to monitor the hygiene and [working] environment; the [city] could and shall work on that,” he said, calling it a welcome development

Reththy has previously said his company would spend $3 million on Cambodia’s first large-scale, modern slaughterhouse. Yesterday, he said he had not ruled out the idea but had concerns the supply of livestock would be inadequate, as farmers would continue to use existing slaughter houses.

Chenda, a butcher at Kabko Market in Phnom Penh who declined to reveal her family name, yesterday said: “There are many slaughterhouses, and it is easy for us to order good-quality meat.”

Tun Sokheng, 62, a butcher at the same market, said she was concerned that a single location outside of town would be too far for many vendors.

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