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III. Environmental, Health, and Welfare Issues on Thai Livestock Sector[86]

3.1 Environmental Problems and Scaling-up

3.1.1 Environmental Problems Stemming from Livestock Production

Livestock farming could cause environmental pollution through wasted water, odor and flies. Among the major livestock farming in Thailand, swine farming has been the one that cause serious environment problems. At times, the problem is heightened by the expansion of community towards farm areas and by farm concentration and expansion of farms near the rivers. According to a figure from the Pollution Control Department (PCD) in 1999, 23 percent of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) loading in Tha Chin River was caused by swine farming due to the high concentration of swine farms in the central region along the Tha Chin River and lack of proper waste treatment. In 2000, water quality at Tha Chin River became critical as the level of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) has dropped to near zero for most parts of the river. There was the complaint that swine production is a cause of water pollution in Bangpakong River in the Eastern Region. Consequently, in 2001, PCD has added the swine farms in the regulated list.

As for the odor problem, large swine farms often locate over massive land spaces away from community. This can reduce the conflicts on acerbic odors. For the smaller scaled farms that have been operating for a long period of time in swine communities, expanding civilization could quickly catch up with their current locations, and cause conflict between the farms and the community. In the municipal district of NakhonRatchasima province in the Northeastern region, complaints have frequently been filed regarding the pollution from farms, restrained by their limited lands, which have no pond of any kinds to ameliorate toxic waste water. The farms simply discharge wastewater directly into public waterways, leading to endless friction between farm owners and protests from the community.

Poultry farms generally create wastes in the form of solid waste, odor, dust and flies. However, as the size of poultry farm increases together with the increase in the adoption of closed system there has been helped reduce odor (and flies) created from the solid waste. At the same time, it also reduces fly problem. The negative impact of the closed system is the dust problem. However, this problem could be treated by the installation of filter system to trap dust. As a result, pollution problems in poultry have decreased with industrialization.

Dairy cow raising produces wastes in form of solid waste, waste water and odor. In many dairy farm with pasture for the cow to graze, much of waste water created is absorbed within the farm for watering the grassland. Solid waste is also left in the farm as manure. However, in some dairy areas with high concentration of small farms, most of which operate without pasture, water pollution could become problem. For example, in one sub-district of the Rachaburi province in the Central Plains, the water quality measured by the quantity of NH3-N, COD and BOD, are below the accepted minimum standards. This could be resulting from having 400 farms on this sub-district, which would produce 2,000 tons of animal solid waste and 2,500 tons of wasted water and urine per year.

3.1.2 Institutional Mechanisms to Mitigate Environmental Pollution Problems Stemming from Livestock

Rules and regulation. The major government offices that are responsible for establishing the rules and regulation for environmental pollution results from livestock production are Pollution Control Department (PCD), Ministry of national resources and environment; Department of Livestock Development (DLD), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives; and Ministry of Public Health.

Under the responsibility of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment[87], the National Environment Quality Act was first enacted in 1969 as a comprehensive package for institutionalization of environmental policy and planning. The act was amended in 1992 as the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (NEQA), which is dubbed the environmental constitution of Thailand. The new act put more emphasis on the conservation of natural resources and environmental quality. The key provisions include the establishment of the National Environmental Board (NEB), the measurement for environmental protection which also includes Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the measurement of pollution control, the environmental protection and the statement on civil liability. NEB is a high-powered policy-making committee chaired by the Prime Minister. NEB aims to coordinate the environmental protection efforts of governmental agencies at the central level and with those of local governments at the provincial level. The main powers of the NEB include the submission of policies and plans to the Cabinet for approval, the prescription of environmental standards, the approval of Environmental Quality Management Plans and provincial action plans, the amendment, improvement and enforcement of laws, and the monitoring of environmental compliance by government agencies and state enterprises (APCEL report, 1999).

Following the NEQA, the cabinet made a resolution in 1996 to adopt the "Policy and Plan for National Environmental Quality Preservation and Promotion (1997-2016) (PEQP). Under PEQP, the line ministries and every province have to come up with their own respective action plans. PEQP produces yet another action plan called Environmental Quality Management Action Plan (EQMAP), of which water pollution is its priority area, specifically, the water quality were set for two periods: 2001 and 2006 for Chao Phraya River and Tha Chin River.

Another Act is the Energy Conservation and Promotion Act B.E 2535 (ECPA). Swine production is linked through the energy sector via recovering and renewing use of methane to produce electricity. This production could replace the conventional demand, thus reducing potential required supply. ECPA has had appreciable impacts for Thailand and provided quite a comprehensive window for supporting projects in the energy sector that will yield other additional local and global benefit.

PCD has set the regulation for chanelization in respect of waste dumping into water courses. This regulation is implemented to prevent sedimentation which a navigational obstruction and to prevent pollution effects on living resources. Regarding the livestock activities, the effluent standard for pig farm is presented in table 1:

This new regulation was announced in February 2001. With a one-year grace period, the above standards were effective on February 24, 2002. Thus far, only large and medium farms will be enforced and monitored.

The Ministry of Public Health plays a significant role on environmental protection. The Public Health Act B.E 2535 has authorized Tambon (sub-district) Administrative Office (TAO) to be an inspection office on the environmental control in the sub-district level. Accordingly, TAO has an authority to close the farm that violates the environmental regulations, which lead to public health hazards.

Public subsidy to mitigate environmental problems. The construction cost for swine waste management system is substantial. Data from our survey (this study) indicate that the average cost for a manure holding building and a biogas digester pond are approximately 22,400 and 126,600 baht per farm, respectively. A biogas digester pond also costs nearly twice as much as a waster treatment pond.

To induce more farms to treat their waste properly, some government agencies such as Department of Livestock Development (DLD), National Energy Policy Office (NEPO) and Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) have provided partial funding for construction the waste treatment system such as biogas digester and multi-level pond. The amount provided by the governmental funds for installing of waste water treatment system ranged from 20,000 to more than 150,000 baht per farm, approximately 40-60 percent of the total installation cost. By 1999, NEPO has subsidized 10 swine farms build power generation to turn swine waste into bio-gas and electricity (NaRanong, 1999).

The NEPO has also cooperated with the Biogas Advisory Unit (BAU), Chiang Mai University (CMU) on subsidizing the farm to inspect the bio-gas system. The program was called "The Biogas Dissemination Program in Livestock Farms: Medium and Large Size Farms." In this program, NEPO will subsidize up to 38 percent of the construction cost and low cost loan as well as loan facilitation will be sought to assist the farm owners. The subsidy was tied to the condition of complete construction of BAU design and specification. (Intarangsi and Kiatapakdee, 2001)

As the governmental sources are limited and insufficient to support all the farmers who need to construct the water treatment system, some farmers use their own funds or the loan from commercial banks or Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to build these facilities.

3.1.3 Scaling-Up and Environmental Control

As the livestock sector has been more industrialized, livestock farms tend to be larger in size. Since most of the large farm belongs to big businesses, they tend to be under more closely scrutiny by the community and the local authority. Also, they tend to face a more stringent standard than medium and small farms (as indicated in Table 3.1 in case of swine). Moreover, the authority tend to have the enforcement policy that is bias against the large farms.

For poultry, industrialization-which often comes with closed housing-also helps solve the environmental problem effectively. This is assisted by the fact that chicken manure is salable. Therefore, the increased volumes of manure produced by the large farms have not create absorptive problem like in swine production.

For dairy, most of the expansions take place in new areas and, unlike the first wave of dairy in Ratchaburi province, new farms tend to have some grazing land for the animals. Therefore, the expansion is unlikely to create serious environmental problems or to make the problem worse.

Swine production is probably the least environmental friendly livestock production. As a result, the PCD has set the regulation to control its sewage. As stated earlier, most attention has been paid to large farms, both in regulation and enforcement. According to data from PCD, all pig farms of sizes greater than 500 have invested in certain type of water treatment, while some small-scale farms (12.7 percent) have no sewage treatment system at all.

In terms of treatment techniques employed by farm of different size, all of the large scale farms (with 5,000 pigs or more) use pond system or solid-liquid system to treat their sewage. Medium-scale and small-scale farms tend to equip the reception pond (which consist of only one pond and therefore not very effective in treating the sewage, as the water that is spilled-over to the drainage would still be very polluting. Interestingly, according to the PCD data, only small and medium farms use biogas digesters. It is possible that large farms do not find this technique cost-effective. As most of the large farms are new farms settled in land-ample areas, they have enough land to build a pond system instead.

It is not clear whether pollution from swine increases or decreases with farm size. While it is most likely that pollutant per animal is lower for large farms-as all of them have system of treatment ponds compare with the less efficient reception pond, in some cases, the higher volumes of sewage created by large farms could provide more pollutant per area than a smaller farm. Therefore absorptive capacity is also an important issue. In this respect, however, there have been more evidences of serious pollution created by concentrated smaller farms in certain rivers than a sole problem in certain area created by a large farm.[88]

3.1.4 Enforcement Problems

Although number of rules and regulations on waste water management are announced and some incentives are offered to the livestock farms in investing in waste treatment technology, there has been a lack of enforcement.

DLD is one of the inspection offices and is expected to be a key institution to enforce the environmental protection law. Ironically, DLD's main job is on the extension program and serves as support unit for livestock farmers. To act as an inspection office might cause some conflicts between the department and the farmers which will lead to the difficulty while working with the farm owners. Consequently, DLD may not be able to act efficiently as an inspection agency. Thus, the more effective enforcement and implementation of existing laws are needed to achieve responsible environmental management

3.2 Animal Health - Impact of Animal Health Concern on Scaling-Up

3.2.1 Issue for Thailand

Animal diseases have caused problems to livestock farmers, livestock industries and, to some extent, consumers in Thailand. In some cases, it also affects the access or competitiveness of Thai animal products in international market. This seriousness of animal diseases has challenged the country's veterinary services and the livestock farming management. Thus far, the government has support research and development on the vaccine and, in some cases, produces vaccines for the farmers. The government also collaborates with international organizations such as Office International des Epizooties (OIE) and countries in the region to control the animal diseases.

3.2.2 Productivity concerns and a desire to eradicate disease from Thailand

As regards the case in Thailand, Food and Mouth Disease (FMD) has caused Thailand a serious problem for several decades due to the fact that the virus change their strains very often, cattle are smuggled regularly and the FMD control programs have a problem stemming from both the private and public sectors. However, the mortality rate for FMD outbreaks is low among adult livestock case. Since it does not cause death in animal, it brings about the difficulty in figuring the productivity losses in animal production. Consequently, study concerning the economic impact of FMD on livestock productivity in Thailand is rarely available.

Regarding poultry production, Newcastle disease and fowl cholera used to be a major problem. During the high temperatures and humidity period, particularly in summer (March and April), poultry are more susceptible to these diseases, especially with backyard farms that often do not strictly follow the recommended vaccination and deworming programs. Thus far, the problem has been alleviated through the contract farming which have great control over the application and regulation of hygiene. The last case of Newcastle disease found in Thailand was reported to OIE in 1996. However, there are still concerns that keeping a large number of birds in confined spaces makes it vulnerable to a disease outbreak.

For dairy farmers, they face the problem of mastitis which results in decrease of milk production and abortion in some cases. Furthermore, unhealthy cows would produce bad quality milk, either in term of milk composition or bacterial contamination. Some farmers treat mastitis by using antibiotics which bring about residues presenting in milk and can resulting in price decrease. According to Falvey and Chantalakhana (1999), mastitis causes economic losses from both the decrease in milk production and the increase in management costs. A rough estimate of annual loss was 700 million baht in 1989 and 1,500-2,000 million baht in 1998 (approximately 38 - 49 million in US$, at Bt.41 = US$1).

3.2.3 Trade issues and problems

After Thailand financial crisis in 1997, Thailand has become more competitive in international market due to the Baht depreciation. Together with the hit of BSE in Europe in 1996 and 2001, the Avian flu hit poultry industry in China, the export of poultry products has surged rapidly from 150,000 tons in 1993-1997 period to 245,000 tons in 2000 and gained total of 27,274 million baht (approximately 681 million in US$, at Bt.40= US$1) for frozen and raw broiler meat and further-processed broiler products. Thailand supplied primarily semi-cooked and cooked products to Japan, while exports frozen parts to EU. According to the Bank of Thailand report, during 1991-2000, the exports growth of value- added chicken products was 37.1 percent per year due to high demand of overseas market, particularly EU and Japan. In 2000 and the first quarter of 2001, exports of Thai further-process chicken meat grew 37.9 and 54.2 percent, respectively. Broiler meat exports for 2003 are forecast to increase 5 percent from 2002 to 435,000 tons (Bank of Thailand, 2001). As Thailand ranks the sixth of broiler exporters of poultry products for the world market, it will need to adhere more stringently to WTO-SPS measures and standards to gain market share in export markets.

The SPS agreement which came into action in 1995 is regarded that countries need to adopt sanitary and phytosanitary measures to protect human, animal or plant life or health. The countries that need to comply with SPS agreement need to reach an appropriate level of sanitary and phytosanitary protection and the recognition of disease-free areas. The SPS committee of the WTO is accountable for overseeing the manner in which international standards are used at the national level. As a result, to comply with SPS agreement, Thailand is required to actively work with the International Office of des Epizooties (OIE) to draw up the international standards on animal health. Additionally, Thailand adapts laws, rules and standards to the terms of SPS agreement to control and eradicate disease that hinders trade. Thailand is also carrying out import inspection and quarantine procedures.

Apart from SPS agreement, EU White Paper on Food Safety and Directives on Animal Welfare is another concern for Thai governments and farm owners. "Farm to table" is another livestock measure on trace-ability that has transformed the Thai broiler industry. EU requires farmers to stop using antibiotics and vaccines for a certain period before slaughter. In March 2002, EU had found that Thai chicken contain residues of nutrofuran and has tightened its rules on Thai chicken exports. They announced a ban on the use of antibiotics in frozen-chicken products imported from Thailand. Thai exporters are now subject to 100-percent inspection due to the danger of chemical residues present in the products (Nation, 2003). Since most large scale farms rely heavily on export, this effective tracking scheme forces them to comply with the export standard to improve their production standards, including those concerning chemical residues. This is to avoid heavy punishment if they fail to comply.

3.2.4 Thailand's current disease status in efforts to control disease

OIE list a disease. The DLD divides Thailand into 9 Regions (see Figure 1). Most of the FMD outbreaks have been reported in the region 3, 4, 5 and 6, the Regions with the highest cattle and buffalo densities while most of the Classical Swine Fever outbreaks were in Region 7 with the highest pig density. Thailand has a border of approximately 4,500 km. and heavy legal and illegal livestock trade occurs between the countries. FMD and Classical Swine Fever are continuously 'imported' from neighboring countries.

According to OIE's list A diseases[89] report in 2002, only the FMD and Classical Swine Fever were reported in Thailand. 74 outbreaks of FMD were found in buffaloes, cattle and swine mainly of Virus types O and A. For Classical Swine Fever, 19 outbreaks were found in 5 Regions. For Newcastle disease in poultry, as previously stated, last case of the disease in Thailand was reported to OIE in 1996.

Disease free regions. Herd size and density are important factors in the spread of the disease due to close contact among animals. They can also induce stresses or affect the nutritional status of animal causing the increase of susceptibility of infections. The higher the density of the animal population, the higher the risk of disease spreading. Most FMD outbreaks were reported in Region 3, 4, 5, 6 due to the high density of cattle and buffaloes in these regions. FMD in swine was prevalent in Region 7 where the pig population is dense (Awaiyawanon, Hanyanum, Musikul, and Wongdee 1994).

The information from DLD illustrated that the FMD free zones in Thailand are Region 8 and 9 which include of 15 provinces: Prajuabkirikan, Chumporn, Surajthanee, Krabi, Nakornsrithammarat, Pattaloong, Trung, Pangnga, Phuket, Satul, Songkla, Pattanee, Yalaa, Ranong and Narathiwat. Within these two regions, people prefer growing rubber or mining, the population of livestock is much lower than other regions. It has been announced as a FMD free zone since 1956. Additionally, Region 2 are also announced as a FMD free zone in 1989. This region includes of 9 provinces: Nakornnayok, Prachinburi, Trad, Srakaew, Chanburi, Rayong, Cholburi, Chasengsao, and Samutprakarn.

According to OIE, there is a high premium for products from FMD free zones which is significant price difference (OIE, 1997). Therefore many countries, including Thailand, have aspired to free zone status for FMD.

As for Rinderpest, it has been eradicated and the free status has been confirmed for Thailand by OIE International Committee in 2001.

Impact of disease eradication on small-scale farmers. Disease eradication will benefit small-scale farmers in reducing the loss of their animals and, to some extent, increasing food security.

There have been evidences that many small farmers tend to pay more attention to life-threatening disease than a non life-threatening one. Often, the DLD regulations on FMD vaccination have not always been followed by swine farmers, particularly small-scale farmers, due to the financial incentive. Some farmers take the bet by not vaccinate their swine or cattle during the non outbreak periods, since the FMD outbreaks take place every four or five years. (NaRanong, 1999)

For export goods such as broiler, it seems that the main gainers of disease eradication are the large integrators which export their products to international market. However, whenever export is banned, small scale farmers who serve as subcontractors are the most sufferers, since the large integrators tend to react to such a ban by reducing the amount of contract-out broiler before reducing their own production.

Institutional efforts to aid in disease eradication. The effort to eradicate animal diseases from Thailand is acted by many sectors including government agencies, international organizations and business sector.

Department of Livestock Development (DLD), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is directly responsible for the animal health services and the promotion of animal products in Thailand. Within the DLD, there are nine regional livestock offices, 76 provincial livestock offices, 8 Regional veterinary research and diagnostic centers that provide veterinary investigations, and a commercial-scale vaccine production unit in NakornRachasima province.

The Division of Veterinary Epidemiology, Office of Animal Disease Control at DLD acts as a main reference and extension service center for epidemiology in Thailand. DLD has non-centralized offices working from regional to provincial level. These provincial livestock offices have considerably more autonomy in decision making with the decentralization of authority to the regional office, although there are financial constraints for the fund raising for essential extension services.

In 2001, DLD has staff of 510 veterinarians, 1,642 para-veterinary trainees, 319 animal husbandry scientists, 573 animal husbandry assistants. Apart from the permanent staff, the DLD also trains village key persons to carry out routine vaccination and to detect and notify any outbreaks of contagious diseases.

The National Institution of Animal Health (NIAH) is another government office that provides training programs and serves as a reference laboratory to confirm diagnosis, collaborates with other organisations in conducting an investigation and surveillance of major animal diseases including exotic diseases. There are four Regional Diagnostic Centers and a FMD center facilitated by the OIE-FAO FMD control program.

DLD began to implement the control measure for FMD in 1956 after the Animal Epidemic Act 1956. In the same year, the FMD center was established for diagnostic purposes in NakornRatchasima. FMD Vaccine Production Center was built there in 1960. In addition, FMD diagnosis is carried out at the Northern Veterinary Research and Diagnostic Center (NVRDC) in Lampang. DLD main activities to control FMD including mass vaccination program, FMD information system, control of animal movement, stamping out of disease animals and public relations. A vaccine factory has been established in NakornRatchasima to produce trivalent FMD vaccines for the mass vaccination program (Awaiyawanon, Hanyanum, Musikul, and Wongdee 1994). The goal was set to eradicate FMD from Thailand by 2000. However, FMD outbreaks continue to emerge sporadically in the country. In case of swine, Kehren, Murphy, and Tisdel (1997) claim that numbers of factors have seriously affected the spread of disease among swine, particularly at village level. These factors include inability in diagnosis, no restriction in movement of sick animals, high density of swine populations, unhygienic and poor sanitation, etc. According to them, lack of appropriate technical expertise in village level makes it more difficult to eradicate this disease.

OIE as an international organization which mainly works on controlling animal disease, has established South-East Asian FMD Campaign which covers Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It aims to emphasize on regional-coordination. One of the collaboration to control FMD among counties is the project of Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar (MTM). The concept of MTM project is to define control and buffer zones with the main objective to eradicate the disease, progressively improve zone status and to achieve a disease-free status, under OIE standards. MTM will benefit the countries by reducing the cost of eradication. Each of these areas will be able to export and gain higher prices for their animal products for being able to trade within FMD-free markets (Edwards, 2002).

The effort to get rid of animal disease in Thailand is also supported by private sector in Thailand. For example, Betagro Group, the second largest company in chicken and swine farming business[90], has operate a laboratory that aim to find out the causes and effects of diseases (Pongprasert, 2003).3.3

3.3 Food Safety Concerns and Effect of Changes on Small-Scale Producers

3.3.1 Domestic Health/Hygiene

In the past, Thailand has been lacking strong consumer protection system, resulting in poor product quality-control that were purely dictated by consumer demands and words of mouths. However, the government tries to tighten up the monitoring and enforcement. The food safety issues that are concerned in the domestic market including using banned drugs and other chemicals, sanitation in slaughtering, and, to lesser extent, using dead animals in some processed food products.

The most wide-spread cases of using banned chemicals is the use of beta-agonist such as Salbutamol (an anti-asthma drug which is also known as Albuterol in the US.) in swine to produce pigs with leaner meat, since most consumers prefer less-fat and reddish pork. Although the use of Salbutamol in swine has already been banned years ago, up until the recent crack-down by the current government, high demands for reddish-flushed pork has still induced its illicit use by the majority of swine raisers.

Another food-safety issue is misuse or over-use of antibiotics, which, at times, leave the drug residuals in meat and dairy products. Animal uses of these antibiotics and accumulation of these antibiotics in human bodies could lead to antibiotic resistance of some bacteria, which would shorten the usable life of the medicines in human. Some banned antibiotics also could be harmful for human, e.g., Chloramphenicol (aplastic anemia), penicillins (anaphylactic shock), and tetracycinces (toxic to kidney).

For semi-processed porks such as grind pork, there is still problem of using borax or other preservatives to help products sustaining the freshness (or merely the fresh looks) of meat in the market. While borax could maintain the fresh looking color in the meat for over 12 hours, it is very toxic to human kidney.

Sanitary procedures for slaughtering and dissecting, especially for swine, has still been a food-safety issue. There are still a substantial number of illegal and uncertified slaughterhouses that butchers operate on bare ground with high risk of contaminations from microorganisms, dirt, etc.

Using dead animals to produce some processed foods is another practice that has been used in many developing countries for a long time. In Thailand, while dead animals are not supposed to be used for human consumption (many goes to crocodile farms and to feed other carnivores), some small food processors still use them to make cheap food products that usually end up in low-income markets in upcountry. In most cases, these business users are selective in using only the dead animals that were "in good shapes"[91] and have not create much serious health problems. Most of the products go out as no-brand products. While they are not necessarily harmful[92] - as many animals died from stress, dehydration, biting each other, accident, and other natural causes - the fact that the practice is not legal prevents such a practice from being scrutinized or inspected by knowledgeable authorities, and thus make it risky for the uninformed domestic consumers-most of whom are the poor in rural areas.

3.3.2 Access to International Markets

Food safety has always been crucial for export livestock products, most of which are exported to developed countries. For broiler, there used to be problems of using banned antibiotic residues in chicken. Swine suffers from FMD and beta-agonist residues, both of which has been barrier to export for the swine products. Egg export to a premium market also suffers from Salmonella problem often found on the egg shell.

The major broiler exports have been able to solve this problem mainly by produce their own broiler, and to lesser extent, by use contract farming (where the contractors provide all feed and medicines to the contracted farms). Although there were problems at times, they could be solved in a relative short period. The swine industry has still been struggling to solve the problem.

3.3.3 Domestic Approaches to Food Safety

Most of the food safety problems have been addressed by the legislation and the authorities-both from the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. However, until recently, enforcement by the authorities has been lacking or sporadic. The private exporters have solved this problem by produce their own livestock or via contract farming-where the integrators provide all feeds and medicines to the subcontractors. Some integrators also use tracing method to ensure that each batch of their export produce could be traced back to the producer-based on the "farm to table" standard.

Since the "voluntary approach of food safety control" described above is driven solely by the market force, such approach leads to the situation that Thailand has two-tier market consisting of high quality products designated mainly for export and the domestic market that have products with a wide range of qualities.

The current Thai government has launched a campaign to crack down the illegal uses of banned chemicals and declares the year 2004 to be the year of food safety. Under this campaign, the government inspects the meat market and also confiscates or quarantines thousands of pigs from the farms that were found using beta-agonist. Some offenders are going to be prosecuted. They are subject to a serious penalty of up to five years in jail or a fine of up to 200,000 baht, or both.

Increasing awareness regarding food safety of both public and private sectors has created demands for organic foods domestically, which are met by some local suppliers and some department stores in big cities--such as in Bangkok, Chiangmai, and Phuket.

3.3.4 Changes Brought About by International Requirements

As Thailand is one of the leading poultry exporters, her export products need to meet stringent standard imposed by importing countries. In the past, efforts were put mainly by the private sector in order to export their product. In this respect, the broiler industry has been rather successful.

To ensure proper livestock raising to meet the foreign importer's demand, the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) has established the regulation for the standard farm in 1999 for swine, poultry and cattle farms. The farm standard is based on the so-called "Good Agricultural Practice" (GAP)-which was adapted from the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) concept. The purpose of this program is to improve the quality and safety of livestock products produced in Thailand. The products from standard farms would be certified by DLD to ensure the consumers that the products are clean and safe.

Under the DLD's farm standard, the farms that are certified as an export farm need to meet the DLD standard and requirements, which are claimed to be comparable to the standards required by importing countries, including EU and Japan. The DLD standard also addresses environmental and animal welfare concerns established by imported countries. For example, as EU is the most important importer of the Thai broiler, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, by DLD, has established the farm standard that would comply with the EU's White Paper on Food Safety and Directives on Animal Welfare. Other important purposes are to promote environmental and food safety awareness. These farm standards are voluntary, hence, they are rarely observed by the farm owners except the poultry farmers because their products are exported. For all exporting broiler farms, the standard farm regulations are compulsory. As for swine farms whose products are consumed domestically, the farm standard regulations have had no direct impact on the practices of swine farms. However, all livestock farming will be required to follow these standards by 2005, which include observation of proper withdrawal times of pharmaceuticals, environmentally friendly waste management techniques, and follow national and regional disease monitoring measurement.

3.3.5 Changes in Slaughterhouses

Food safety requires hygienic slaughtering process. As in production, Thailand is now under a two-tier slaughterhouses. In broiler, a modern slaughterhouse designated for the export sector was introduced about two decades ago. After a decade, modern slaughterhouses serve a substantial part of the domestic market. At present, there are dozens of modern broiler slaughterhouses. For swine, there are currently nine slaughterhouses that have been certified for export by the DLD, including a DLD-owned slaughterhouse that rented out to CP via an auction.

As slaughterhouse issues are also related to animal welfare, some of these issues will be discussed in the next section.

3.4 Animal Welfare and Effect of Scaling-Up in Thailand

3.4.1 Effect of Scaling-Up

Although the animal welfare issues have only been raised recently by consumers in developed countries-especially in the European Union (EU)-traditionally a large number of Thai livestock farmers-both backyard and professional-were very concerned with their animal welfare, not only for profit motive, but also with sentimental value they drew from their animals. The industrialization process might have taken the sentimental value away, however, as farmers began to follow guideline provided by specialists or contractors.

At present, there are three trends that coexist in the livestock industry in Thailand. First, many export-oriented farms try to comply with the EU standard (including farm conditions such as animal density, number of animals per worker, number of dark hours per days, etc., and transportation requirement). Interestingly, some farms have found that following these standard was beneficial for them as both the mortality rate and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) had improved. There has been no rigorous study to confirm if the average cost per bird (including fixed cost) increase or decrease.

As for farms that mainly serve the domestic market, the industrialized farms-most of which follow the western blueprint based on capital intensive and land detachment-might have been viewed as less considerate to the animals. In layer farms, for example, animal density in an evaporative cooling house is generally higher than traditional house because of the relatively high investment cost. The higher density could make the living environment less desirable, although it is also arguably the case that adopting the cooling system would make the animals more comfortable.

However, the industrialization does not always come with one blueprint. Unlike some layer farms in the US where each hen has an average space that is equivalent to an A4 paper, a large layer farm in our survey let the hen wander freely in the farm. Many small commercial farms in our survey (of sizes 50-60 pig per farms) in NakornRatchasima province also adapt the raising technique that resemble backyard farms rather than industrialized farms. In these farms, pigs are allowed to go in and out their pen at will.

At present, many Thai exporters view the animal welfare measure requirement as protectionism. However, some are rather optimistic, since they believe that Thailand is in a better position to follow these guidelines than a major competitor like the US.

3.4.2 Impact of Export on Slaughterhouses

As described earlier, the broiler revolution took off when CP brought about new innovation such as breeding stock, contract farming, and modern slaughterhouses designated for export. As the export sector grows, modern slaughterhouses gradually replace traditional ones. At present, most integrators use modern slaughterhouses for both export and domestic market. To meet both western standard (no cruelty slaughter process) and middle-east standard--where some religious rules require that the animals must be alive when there are slaughtered, most modern slaughterhouses use electric shock to knock the broiler unconscious before going through the assembly blade.

As major agro-companies try to export pork, they have gone through a similar path. At present, there are about a dozen of modern pig slaughterhouses designated for the export sector. It is likely that these new slaughterhouses would become dominant if and when Thailand could overcome the export barrier.

Table 3.1 Effluent Standard for Pig Farm

· Effluent Standard for Pig Farm



Maximum standard values for large farm

Maximum standard values for small and medium farm






















1. Effective on February 24, 2002

2. Large farm denotes a farm with more than 600 Livestock Unit (LU.), medium farm is 60-600 LU, and small farm is 6-<60 LU, 1 LU. = 500 kg.

3. Weight of breeding pig = 170 kg./head, fattened pig = 60 kg./head, nursling pig = 12 kg./head

Table 3.2 Treatment Techniques Employed in Swine Farms

Treatment techniques

Farm Size




5,000 up

Pond system (2-10 ponds)





Solid-liquid system + holding pond




Biogas digester





Reception pond (1 pond only)





No treatment at all










Source: Pollution Control Department

Figure 3.1 Department of Livestock Development Animal Quarantine Stations in Thailand

Figure 3.2 Department of Livestock Development 7 Regional Veterinary Research and Diagnostic Centres

[86] This Chapter is drafted by Viroj NaRanong (TDRI) and Nawarat Chalermpao (FAO). The authors thank Dr.Vishnu Songkitti of FAO for his comments on an earlier draft on food safety issues.
[87] Former Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MOSTE)
[88] In a recent news from May 30, 2003 that villagers in three villages protest against a medium sized farm (with 1,500 pigs) because of pollution problems.
[89] List of the diseases of importance in international trade
[90] The group has 31 farms and 2,500 contract farms.
[91] Dead animals that are apparently died of disease are not saleable in any markets. The farmers have to incinerate or bury them.
[92] It is arguably the case that farmers who cook their own dead animals are probably at higher risk, as were cases of cattle farmers contracted the Anthrax disease from unknowingly eating their cows that died of the disease.

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