Country Profiles

The processing sector

Traditionally, beef was supplied unrefrigerated to consumers. This distribution system had a strong impact on the slaughterhouse networks established for market supply. With restructuring in 2002 to place all slaughterhouses under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, improved figures became available which indicated that of some 791 registered abattoirs, 594 were municipal abattoirs and 197 privately owned. Among these only two met international quality standards, and about one third acquired a slaughter certificate for meeting minimum requirements. Nonregistered abattoirs continue to exist – possibly 40 operate in Bangkok for cattle (Skunmun, 2014).

Slaughtering is mostly done at night in the traditional way (floor dressing). However, there are also a number of new private or government-owned abattoirs with line-slaughter systems with good hygienic standards as the government allowed the private sector to establish small slaughterhouse in each sub-district under the monitoring by veterinary section of sub-district organisation administration.

For prime and quality beef, slaughtering and cutting (retail cut) is done under the slaughterhouse, and dressing room standards; food safety and traceability standards are also required. Some slaughterhouses transport cut carcasses to the market in open-air trucks with no refrigeration.

Health of the cattle before and post-slaughter is inspected by veterinary section (a veterinarian) of the sub-district organisation administration.

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