Malaysia suspends slaughtering approval for Aussie halal-certified firm


PUTRAJAYA: The slaughtering approval granted by Malaysia to a halal-certified company in Australia, Thomas Foods International Lobethal, has been suspended with immediate effect until a thorough investigation is done.

Islamic development department of Malaysia (Jakim) director-general Hakimah Mohd Yusoff said the decision was taken following a special meeting between the veterinary services department (JPV), Jakim and Australia’s department of agriculture, water and the environment (DAWE) yesterday.

“Jakim has conducted an investigation into the slaughterhouse and held a series of discussions with the Australian authorities.

“Jakim has also arranged a meeting with Pertubuhan Kemasyarakatan Rakyat Malaysia (Pekemas) to get more information,” she said in a joint statement by Jakim and JPV here today regarding alleged violations of halal slaughtering procedures by a company given halal status by Malaysia in Australia.

Recently, the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), together with Pekemas and Sahabat 99, had revealed alleged violations of SOPs for halal slaughter by a company in Australia, which had received approval from Jakim, based on video evidence and photos which were attested to by slaughter workers at the company.

Hakimah said the halal certification body responsible for halal supervision of slaughterhouses in Australia, the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia Inc (Sichma), would be given a show-cause letter.

She said Sichma would also likely face revocation of its status as a halal certification body recognised by Jakim if it was found not complying with the requirements of Malaysian halal standards and procedures.

She stressed that Jakim and JPV viewed seriously the allegation, adding that the procedure for the recognition of foreign processing plants by the Malaysian government had to go through strict and detailed audits before going through the process of presentation and evaluation four times to be approved.

“This is because the process of recognising slaughterhouses and processing plants abroad is carried out systematically by trained officers of JPV and Jakim, based on several standards that have been set for product quality and safety,” she said.


Muis probing Aussie abattoir after Malaysia suspends its slaughtering approval

SINGAPORE – The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) is investigating allegations against an Australian abattoir, after a slaughtering approval granted to it by the Malaysian authorities was suspended.

In a Facebook post on Monday (May 16), Muis said it is currently working with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to ascertain relevant information on the abattoir – Thomas Foods International Lobethal – from the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

The post added that the abattoir is accredited by the SFA to export meat to Singapore.

“Based on SFA’s checks, imports from the establishment had met food safety requirements,” said the post, which added that slaughtered and/or processed meat in this abattoir is certified halal by the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia.

The Australian council is among the Muis-recognised foreign halal certification bodies accredited under a previous recognition framework.

Muis said on Monday that the Australian council has submitted a fresh application under an enhanced recognition framework, which was introduced recently.

“If the outcome of the investigations (still pending) establish that there are serious lapses by (the Australian council), Muis may decide not to renew (its) application to be a Muis-recognised foreign halal certification body.”

Malaysian media outlets reported last Saturday that the country’s suspension of the slaughtering approval given to the Australian abattoir followed alleged violations of halal slaughtering procedures.

In its Facebook post on Monday, Muis urged the community not to speculate or spread unverified information regarding the matter while investigations are ongoing.