Minister destroys illegal pork

Cilegon, Banten (ANTARA News) - Agriculture Minister Suswono accompanied by regional officials seized and destroyed 7.4 tons of illegal swine meat in Cilegon, Banten, on Wednesday.

The meat was destroyed in an incinerator, belonging to the Agricultural Quarantine Office of Cilegon. The 7.4 tons of meat was confiscated in the course of two raids.

The first arrest, with a volume of 4,555 kilograms, was made on July 5, 2014, while the second arrest, with a volume of 2,918 kilogram, was made on July 8, 2014.

Head of the Cilegon Quarantine Office Banun Harpini said that during the period January-July 2014, the quarantine office had foiled nine smuggling attempts of pork.

He said that the meat had been smuggled from Sumatra to Java. The total volumes of meat confiscated by the quarantine office from 2012 to July 2014 stood at 25,413 kilograms.

The quarantine office in Lampung, Sumatra, meanwhile, had confiscated 34,105 kilograms of swine meat till July 2014, he said. Until now, the Lampung quarantine has seized 5,700 kilograms of pork.

Meanwhile, legislator Habib Nabiel Almusawa has urged the government to guarantee the protection of Muslim consumers by not allowing swine meat into traditional markets.

The government should take immediate action to curb the wide circulation of pork to consumers, he said in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, last week.

"The issue should not be allowed to escalate, as it will create unrest among the public," Habib Nabiel Almusawa, who is a member of the House of Representatives (DPR)s Commission IV on agricultural affairs, said in response to reports on the entry of pork into traditional markets.

He said that dispatches of the meat from Sumatra to Java had been taking place for a long time. "The dispatches of the meat have been taking place over a long period. They are sent to Java for using as animal feed at Ragungan Zoo in Jakarta and other zoos in Java. Of late, the volume of deliveries had increased drastically and illogically," the legislator added.(*)