The Consumers Association of Penang calls for laws to ensure that animal feeds are Halal.
As animal feed is one of the important aspects in the Halal food supply chain, feeding animals with Haram animal by-products will make its meat unsuitable for Muslims to consume.
Meanwhile Muslims should refrain from eating meat until such laws are enforced.
The use of animal by-products from slaughterhouse wastes as a raw material in animal feed is a common practice. Blood and bone have long been used as high protein ingredients in animal feed as they have high nutrient value and are low cost and environmentally friendly.
In Malaysia, the use of animal by-products in animal feed has raised concern about the safety and the Halal integrity of meat raised with such feed.
Since 2006, repeated episodes of improper feeding practices are reported by the media. For example the issue of cultivated fish being fed with animal by-products (pig intestines) shocked Muslims in the country.
In 2009, it was revealed that some of the fish farms in the country were feeding fish wastewater from the swine farms to purify it.
In 2010, findings by the Federal Agricultural and Marketing Authority (FAMA) and Universiti Sains Malaysia revealed that 40% of feed manufacturers in the country use mixed animal-based materials in animal feed, creating doubts of the Halal integrity of animals fed with such feeds.
In 2013, a farmer was convicted of feeding cultivated Patin (a specie of fish) with pig intestines. In another case, animal skulls and bones were spotted at the base of the fish pond due to a broken sewer line. The collected bone sample analysed was positive for swine DNA. Accordingly, some restaurants in the state stopped serving Patin-based meals to prevent serving non-Halal food to Muslim consumers. Surprisingly, another similar case was reported in Perak after a few months. In this case, whole pig carcass was used as the nutrition for cultivated Tilapia.
According to the Malaysian National Fatwa Council, animals which are fed with non-Halal feed are decreed as Haram. This, however, is nullified by JAKIM through its Halal Certification Procedure Manual, which states that animal feeds are categorised under unverifiable products.
Malaysia had passed the Feed Act 2009 in March 2013 to regulate the animal feed industry. This Act describes the general requirements in monitoring feed quality by means of controlling the importation, manufacture, sale and use of feed and feed additives. This is to ensure that the feeds satisfy the nutritional requirements for animals and are not contaminated with harmful substances.
In August 2012, the Federal Government gazetted the Feed Regulations 2012 which includes regulation for feed and feed additives manufacture and sale, labelling importation licensing, analysing methods and drugs administration.
Despite the existence of specific legislations governing animal-feed matters in Malaysia, none of the legislation addresses the issues of Halal animal feed in terms of its ingredients, processing, production, transportation and storage. The current legal and regulatory framework on animal feed in Malaysia completely ignores the Halal issue in animal feeds. It must incorporate Halal requirements for the production, importation, manufacture, sale and use of animal feed.
In view of the present situation CAP calls on the authorities to:
· amend the Animal Feed Act 2009 to also include elements of Halal in the feed preparation, processing, production and handling.
· amend JAKIM’s Halal Certification Procedure Manual, to include animal feed as one of the products that are certifiable by JAKIM under its halal certification scheme.
· come out with a Halal Standard for animal feed preparation, production, distribution, labelling and handling so as to enable feed manufacturers to get their feed products Halal- certified.
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Press Statement, 20 February 2019