Malaysia has suspended the slaughtering approval granted to a halal-certified company in Australia, Thomas Foods International Lobethal immediately. Initially, we had reported that Jakim was investigating the slaughtering practices of the company.
Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) director-general Datuk Hakimah Mohd Yusoff said the decision was taken following a special meeting between the Veterinary Services Department (JPV), Jakim, and Australian authority, the Department of Agriculture, and Water, and the Environment (DAWE).
“Jakim has investigated the slaughterhouse and held discussions with the Australian authorities, too”.
“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 in Kuala Lumpur regarding alleged violations of the Halal slaughtering procedures of a company previously recognized as Halal by Malaysia in Australia.
Recently, the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) together with Pekemas and Sahabat 99, reportedly revealed violations of standard operating procedures (SOP) for Halal slaughter by Thomas Foods in Australia, which had received approval from Jakim. Jakim made the decision after investigating the fake Halal practices of the company. The workers of the company also attested that it had violated the Halal slaughtering procedures.
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) will be given a show-cause letter.
She said Sichma would also likely face revocation of its status as a halal certification body recognized by Jakim if it was found not complying with the requirements of Malaysian halal standards and procedures.
She stressed that Jakim and JPV viewed the allegation seriously, 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 recognizing 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.