Paulina Quintao – The National Director for Veterinary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAP), Joanita Bendita da Costa said she does not guarantee the quality and security of pork being sold in the markets, because a pig slaughterhouse does not exist where the pig's meat can be inspected prior to entering the market.
She said it is very important to have a good place and adequate human resources to inspect all meat products before these go to the market, because they can carry many diseases and can be harmful to public health.
She acknowledged that the pork product industry in Timor-Leste is still small but that more companies are investing in breeding pigs.
"I cannot say the pork being sold in the markets is safe or not, but I just want to add that according to the protocols pigs must be slaughtered in a slaughterhouse then distributed to the markets. But pigs are slaughtered everywhere," she said from her office, in Comoro, Dili.
She said some people have the right knowledge to slaughter a pig based on standards of hygiene and sanitation, but some animals are sick.
She is concerned with this issue, because communities lack knowledge about public health problems caused by animal products.
Meanwhile, the Lecturer of Veterinary in the Faculty of Animal Sciences at the National University of Timor Lorosa'e (UNTL), Acacio da Cruz Amaral said during 17 years of independence, the government has only established one slaughterhouse, located in Tibar, but it is not working properly.
He said the Ministry has trained human resources to inspect and analyze diseases caused by meat products, but it is necessary to create adequate condition so these services can run properly.
"The absence of a slaughterhouse is a problem. We only have one slaughterhouse in Tibar, but it is not working properly. The government needs to pay attention and develop it, because many companies are investing in this area," he said.