I refer to the article 'Supplies vow to end meat shortages' (GDN, August 3). In the past few years, I have voiced concern over the handling of livestock and the dilemma of meat supply.
I wonder how much longer it will take to realise that the Bahrain Livestock Company (BLC) has lost its credibility!
When the government handled livestock imports, there was no incident, at least in my memory, concerning meat shortages on this scale. Since the government decided to hand over this task to BLC, every year there are problems with meat supply and it gets worse as Ramadan approaches.
To make matters worse, BLC has driven the final nail in the coffin - it has imported sick livestock it shamelessly wanted to sell to the public.
It didn't even have the decency to employ a vet to check the livestock while being loaded on the ship or bother to employ a vet to accompany the shipment during the long journey.
Why can't the government force BLC to employ vets and make them available on ships to avoid similar incidents?
It is about time the government appointed other companies to take the responsibility of meat supply as BLC has not shown efficiency in handling it.
It is a fact that competition is good and to end the dilemma, the government should think of appointing a few agents.
Ali Redha Kazerooni
l AN Industry and Commerce Ministry spokeswoman said: "We reassure the reader that the business of importing meat and livestock is open for companies that are interested and capable, that they have been practising this activity for decades.
"The table illustrates the number of companies importing meat and their legal status according to Commercial Registration Directorate records.
"The ministry is keen to facilitate procedures and transactions with regard to investment in all vital sectors to ensure food security, and is working on it seriously in accordance with the terms of reference, with an emphasis on the need to satisfy health and veterinary requirements prescribed by authorities such as the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.
"What prevents most importers from joining in this business are the logistical and technical challenges faced by these activities.
"BLC is partly owned by the government (Mumtalakat) and its activities and accounts are monitored and certified by the Finance Ministry and the National Audit Court."
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