Country Profiles

The processing sector

The cattle processing sector in Cambodia is dominated by a number of small slaughterhouses. In 2014, there were 25 slaughterhouses that have hygienic standards (Royal Government of Cambodia, 2014). The slaughterhouse in Phnom Penh is licensed by DAHP and in a province by PDAHP. Usually cattle arriving at a slaughterhouse are held overnight and slaughtered early in the morning. Cattle are slaughtered in traditional ways using simple tools such as knives and axes. The cattle are not weighed before slaughter, but the carcass is weighed before distributing to wholesalers. Carcasses are usually divided [quartered / halved, butchered?] for transport and distribution to markets.

Slaughterhouses are service kill plants for integrated butcher-traders . Service fees in Phnom Penh were about 20,000 Riels (US$5) per head, while provincial slaughterhouse charges are between 10,000 to 15,000 riels per head (Muniroth et al., 2014). There are two large slaughterhouses in Phnom Penh (Boeng Salang and Chroy Chang Va) and four smaller slaughterhouses. Chroy Chang Va processes around 300 to 400 cattle per day, while Boeng Salang slaughterhouse slaughters 120 to 150 head per day. The cattle slaughtered in Phnom Penh tend to be lighter animals while the better types are exported to Vietnam. About 600 head are slaughtered in Phnom Penh per day.

A veterinarian is present at the slaughterhouse to inspect cattle before slaughtering and stamping on beef after slaughtering. A certificate to food safety is also provided to ensure that the meat is safe for consumption. Provincial veterinarians charge 3,000 riels per head and tax 3,500 riels per head. Poor hygiene and arrangement at provincial slaughterhouses are of concern. Some slaughterhouses do not have any effluent drainage systems of water for cleaning.

Post-slaughter, there appears to be little or no differentiation between cuts and offal as meat and offal are of equal value to consumers for their flavour in local dishes and protein value. Also, there appears to be little differentiation in terms of types of cattle or weight, age or sex of animals to be slaughtered (Harding et al., 2007). That is, processing does not target animals with certain characteristics for local consumption.

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