Pig farmers nationwide prepared to protest US pork imports

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Thai pig farmers nationwide are prepared to protest against the import of American pork.

Swine Raisers Association of Thailand president Surachai Sutthitham, representing Thai pig farmers, will submit a letter to Thailand’s Trade Negotiations Department director-general and the US Embassy to stand firm on their position that Thai swine raisers are against importing pork from the United States.

Mr Surachai said the imports will destroy the entire system of Thai pig farming and Thai swine farmers nationwide are ready to gather to protect their vocation by all possible means. The government could see an unexpectedly high level of protest, he added.

He asserted that Thailand’s pork production is sufficient for domestic consumption and sometimes is in oversupply.

Thailand should push for more pork exports instead of importing from other countries, especially the US, which still uses Ractopamine as a feed additive to promote leanness in animals raised for their meat.

The United States recently tried to negotiate via the Thai Trade Negotiations Department asking for a market opening for American pork products here.

The US said it will adjust the additive’s level to comply with the Codex standard, the international food standards recognised by the World Trade Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) as being the reference point for food standards applied in international trade.

Mr Surachai commented that such move was a pressure to Thailand and reflected a negative sign that the US would try its best for Thailand to open its pork market.

He added that an obvious example was seen when many Vietnamese pig farmers went bankrupt due to the dumping of US pork imports.