PUTRAJAYA – The slaughtering approval granted by Malaysia to a halal-certified company in Australia, Thomas Foods International Lobethal, has been suspended with immediate effect until a thorough investigation into the slaughterhouse is done.

Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Hakimah Mohd Yusoff said the decision was taken following a special meeting between the Veterinary Services Department (VSD), Jakim and an Australian authority, the Agriculture, Water and Environment Department yesterday.

“Jakim has conducted an investigation on the slaughterhouse and held a series of discussions with the Australian authorities.

“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 the VSD here today regarding alleged violations of slaughtering procedures by a company recognised 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 regarding halal slaughter by a company in Australia, which had received approval from Jakim, based on video evidence and photos which were attested to by workers at the company.

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 recognised by Jakim if it is found it is not complying with the requirements of Malaysian halal standards and procedures.

She stressed that Jakim and the VSD viewed the allegations seriously, adding that the procedure for the recognition of foreign processing plants by the Malaysian government entails strict and detailed audits, before the plants would have to go through a process of presentation and evaluation four times before being approved.

“This is because the process of recognising slaughterhouses and processing plants abroad is carried out systematically by trained officers of VSD and Jakim based on several standards that have been set for product quality and safety,” she said. – Bernama, May 14, 2022

Article by: The Vibes