Governor to End License for Abattoir Monopoly

The Takeo provincial governor said Tuesday that he would not renew the contract for a private firm that holds the exclusive right to operate the province’s abattoirs after a group of pig slaughterers submitted a petition to the Donkeo City governor on Friday.

In 2002, the Agriculture Ministry gave the Hoy Hieng Company a license to operate all slaughterhouses in the province, giving local slaughterers no choice but to use the firm’s facilities.

But with the license due to expire today, representatives of the slaughterhouse vendors last week petitioned Donkeo governor Moul Vichet for the license to be canceled.

Their request was passed on to provincial governor Lay Vannak, who said Tuesday that he would not renew Hoy Hieng’s license, nor give them a license to control the provinces’ abattoirs in the future.

“We will allow other companies to bid for this work,” Mr. Vannak said.

He added that when selecting a company to replace Hoy Hieng, the province would take the slaughterers’ grievances into consideration.

The slaughterers have complained that Hoy Hieng’s abattoirs suffer from poor sanitation, unreliable electricity and roofs that are too low, trapping smoke. They also said the company was charging them more to slaughter a pig than their contract stipulates.

“I entirely agree with and support the requests from vendors,” Mr. Vannak said.

Bun Sengly, 45, one of the vendors who signed the petition, said he welcomed the governor’s decision to open bidding, but only if the new firm is willing to improve working conditions.

“If the provincial authority just takes one company to replace the old company and nothing changes, we will continue to protest,” he said.

Mr. Sengly added that in 2002, there were only four or five vendors at each abattoir where pigs were slaughtered, but now there are about 40.

“The area is disgusting, it is dirty,” he said. “If the customers find out, what would they think? Who would continue to buy our pork?”

Representatives of Hoy Hieng could not be reached.

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