The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced the introduction of procedures and the imposition of fines on offences related to animal health and food production.
The announcement was issued on Tuesday and signed by minister Veng Sakhon. It said that skilled units in charge of animal production and veterinary services such as the General Department of Animal Health and Production and the departments of agriculture in the capital and provinces can impose fines.
It said failure to clean up slaughterhouses, processing facilities, meat stalls, animal treatment departments and facilities, animal breeding and raising facilities, animal medicine supply and sale facilities and food distribution facilities, will result in a one million riel ($243) fine.
Businesses that fail to follow regulations banning the trafficking of contaminated animals and which fail to eradicate viruses in buildings, tools and means of transport will be slapped with the same fine.
According to the announcement, the sale of unauthorised animal medicine or foods will result in a four million riel fine.
The sale and distribution of animal meat or producing animals without stamps or veterinary labels will result in a seven million riel fine.
The failure to follow technical standards for packaging and Khmer-language information labels for animal medicine or foods, the wholesale and retail of expired animal medicine and the raising and breeding of unregistered commercial animals will also be met with a seven million riel penalty.
The announcement said fines are imposed on offenders who admit their mistakes in writing and agree to pay. But if an offender doesn’t admit to his or her mistakes and pay fines, officials have to build a case file to be referred to the court.
Fines have to be paid to the State via the General Department of National Treasury or the treasury department in the capital and provinces.
For repeat offenders, fines will be doubled. Continuing such offences can cause the business to have its certifications or permits revoked. Case files will also be sent to court.
General Directorate of Animal Health and Production director-general Tan Phannara told The Post on Wednesday that the announcement was made with reference to the contents of the law on animal health and production, which has been in place since 2016.
In general, a law always consists of many prakas that were announced one by one.
“The General Directorate of Animal Health and Production has a right to fine offenders. We have to make that announcement according to the law. We have a right to issue small fines for minor offences, while bigger fines are issued at the discretion of the minister,” he said.
Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association director Srun Pov said nationwide slaughterhouses have always been sanitised, especially at the outset of the African swine fever outbreak. But the sanitisation of the slaughterhouses has no standards yet.
He said officials have always educated slaughterhouse owners. People living near their locations have also complained of stench or the release of wastewater that affected the environment. But offenders have never been fined.
In late May this year, the ministry decided to suspend two companies temporarily from importing live pigs from Thailand – Chanthou Mean Chey Import Export and 3-TH Agri Development for repeat offences.