Allaying consumers’ worry

KUALA BERANG: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry will send surplus stock of chicken to states facing a shortage as a short-term solution.

Deputy Minister Datuk Rosol Wahid said the move is expected to allay consumers’ concerns as the chicken supply has fallen short in some states due to the closure of several poultry farms.

“This alternative will be done according to our ability to identify areas that are severely affected. For example, (if) a shortage occurs in Perlis, we will cover it with surplus stock from Penang.

“Actually, based on the report we received from the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry, total chicken production is around 66 million heads per month, while the normal consumption rate is around 60 million, and the demand will increase slightly during festive seasons,” he added.

He was speaking to reporters after inspecting a Malaysian Family sales programme here yesterday, which was also attended by Terengganu Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry director Saharuddin Mohd Kia.

On the closure of several poultry farms believed to be stricken by growth problems and diseases, Rosol said the ministry’s enforcement officers had monitored and conducted investigations on the farms concerned.

“We did not simply accept letters from the companies involved – instead, we went down to the field to investigate.

“Our officers went to the farms to see for themselves and there was also photo evidence that the chickens were indeed sick ... they weighed only around 1kg to 1.2kg, and were not suitable for the local market,” he added, according to Bernama.

Rosol also said that stern action would be taken under the Control of Supplies Act 1961 if there was any manipulation to disrupt the stability of the chicken supply in the market.

Meanwhile, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad gave his assurance that the chicken supply in the state was still sufficient and that there would be no shortage like in other states.

“What happened in other states will not happen in Perak. We are in direct contact with poultry farmers who guarantee to supply chicken as usual to the people of Perak.

“In fact, I have given the state executive council the responsibility of providing information and reports at weekly meetings on any development,” he said at his Hari Raya open house in Lenggong yesterday.

The Kota Tampan assemblyman added that the Veterinary Services Department is also monitoring the situation.

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