The construction of several modern slaughterhouses in Ho Chi Minh City has been put on hold due to changes to a new set of regulations.
Circular No.13 recently implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development states that modern abattoirs in Vietnam must meet certain technical regulations and standards, resulting in a long delay to the construction of such facilities in the southern hub.
In Cu Chi District, final preparations for the construction of a US$15 million slaughterhouse are being done, said Nguyen Thi Hong Tham, director of An Ha Company, which is the project developer.
However, the new regulations require the firm to make many major changes to the original design, Tham continued.
“We have to move the structure to a new location that is far enough from local residential areas,” she elaborated. “The room where livestock are kept before being slaughtered also needs to be expanded.”
The circular says that an abattoir has to be at least 500 meters away from houses, schools, and hospitals, Tham said, adding that previous regulations had not included such requirements.
Nearly 100 containers of German-made equipment purchased by An Ha have yet to be transported to Vietnam as the company is preparing related documents to submit to competent agencies, the company director added.
Due to the new rules, several other slaughterhouse projects in Ho Chi Minh City have also been halted despite previous approval from the municipal administration.
According to Phan Xuan Thao, head of the city’s Department of Animal Health, the new circular is applied nationwide, and Ho Chi Minh City is no exception.
In 2010, authorities in the southern metropolis formulated a plan to replace traditional abattoirs with modern ones to ensure food safety and prevent potential epidemics.
They set a target for the construction of six standardized slaughterhouses in 2010- 15.
The goal could not be achieved due to the obstacles erected with investment policies and procedures.
A new target was set in April 2016, saying that these six facilities would be put into operation by the end of 2017, followed by the shutdown of all traditional abattoirs across the city.
The new slaughterhouses would be located in Hoc Mon and Cu Chi Districts with a combined capacity of 10,000 to 15,000 animals per day.
Given the current status, this target may once again be missed as the projects cannot meet the original deadline.
Some construction sites are still only an empty piece of land.
The slaughterhouse of An Ha Company can be completed in early 2018 after its imported equipment is assembled, as long as hope and expectations are kept at a high level.
Meanwhile, Bach Dang Quang, director of Tan Hiep Cooperative, the developer of an abattoir in Hoc Mon, expressed his worry for the future of the facility.
Aside from difficulties regarding land and infrastructure, Hiep is concerned that there would be no proper road for vehicles to enter the venue.
The city’s administration had promised to build a road, he continued, adding that the construction has yet to be initialed.