After a ruthless incident leading to the death of an inspector from the Phetchabun Provincial Livestock Office, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry of Thailand announced a comprehensive plan to strengthen its enforcement on illegal meat traders. The ministry declared that it is set to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to drive this initiative, in an effort to prevent further unfortunate events and curtail unlawful meat trade.
Thamanat Prompow, the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, expressed his distress over the sudden loss of an integral member of their team. He stated, “Our hearts pour out our deepest sympathies to the bereaved family of the esteemed livestock inspector. As I have been informed, he was the head of the inspection unit.” He assured that the ministry would grant a compensation of 100,000 baht to the victim’s family, facilitated through the ministry’s director-general. Prompow also ensured that the injured inspector would receive complete support and assistance from the ministry.
Firmly declaring that such a tragic incident will not deter the momentum of the meat inspection actions, Prompow revealed his directive to all provincial livestock offices to expedite thorough inspections of meat warehouses. This inspection plan, he announced, will be executed in synergy with local police forces. “Several reports point towards threats received by officials located near the Thai border by unlawful meat merchants, predominantly in Mae Sot district of Tak,” he explained.
Elucidating the possible motive behind the brutal shooting of the inspectors, the minister opined that it could be an act of vengeance by illegal meat traders, in response to the ministry’s crackdown on frozen meat smuggling. He referenced an instance on September 29, where approximately four tons of illicit pork seized from 161 shipping containers were dismantled in Chon Buri.
Giving the details of the terrible incident, he said that nine inspectors from the Phetchabun Provincial Livestock Office investigated a frozen meat warehouse in the Chang Talut tambon in Phetchabun’s Lom Sak district. They reportedly discovered around 800-1,000 kilograms of illegal pork at the site. The proprietor, identified as Anusorn, was unable to furnish adequate legal documents of livestock acquisition to the officials. As the officials drew up a 20,000 fine for possession of illegal meat, Anusorn supposedly retaliated with gunshots.
Phetchabun’s police chief, Pol Maj Gen Thadech Klomkliang, revealed that Anusorn conceded to shooting the livestock officials. According to Gen Thadech, Anusorn has been indicted with charges of murder, attempted murder, and illicit possession of a firearm.