A group of pig slaughterers in Takeo province submitted a petition to the Donkeo City governor Friday to demand that the private firm holding the exclusive right to operate abattoirs in the province not have its license renewed.
Donkeo governor Moul Vichet said Sunday that 33 representatives of the slaughterers, who are forced by law to use the Hoy Hieng Company’s facilities, protested outside his office and called for the license to be canceled.
“On Friday, the 33 representatives of the slaughterhouse vendors came to submit a petition for my intervention to cancel the license for the Hoy Hieng Company and to open bidding to other companies,” Mr. Vichet said.
“After I got the petition from the vendors, I held a meeting with my officials to alleviate this case,” he added. “We sent the request from the vendors to the provincial governor to consider the case.”
The firm, owned by local businessman Hoy Hieng, has held the sole abattoir-operating license in Takeo province since the Agriculture Ministry granted the monopoly rights in 2001.
Mr. Vichet said the protest on Friday was sparked by the Hoy Hieng Company’s request for an extension to its contract to operate the province’s 19 abattoirs.
“This company’s contract will expire on December 31, 2014, and we will consider whether to kill or continue the contract with this company,” he explained.
Hun Seng Ly, 45, one of the slaughterers who uses the Hoy Hieng Company’s facilities, said the company was not fulfilling the terms of its contract.
“We want to remove this company because this company never cares about sanitation, it only cares about the money,” Mr. Seng Ly said.
“The slaughterhouse does not have enough clean water or electricity, and always floods during the rainy season,” he added.
Chea Sokha, chief of the Donkeo City animal production and health office, said the slaughterers had also complained recently that Hoy Hieng has been demanding 10,000 riel (about $2.50) per pig killed, instead of the 4,500 riel (about $1.10) stipulated in its license.
“We support…the vendors demanding that authorities open bidding to other companies to prevent the company from violating its contract,” he said.
“Their demands are reasonable, because the locations are small and the roofs are low and that makes the smoke stay in the building and can affect their health.”
The Hoy Hieng Company could not be reached.