From pigs to pork

By Jamie Koh

MENTION an abattoir and images of splattering blood, scattered animal organs laid on hard, cold metal and menacing-looking apparatus come to mind.

However, a my paper visit to Singapore's only pig abattoir in Buroh Lane in Tuas showed that the reality was not that macabre.

The slaughterhouse is run like a production line, with white-uniformed personnel going briskly about their business.

The floor is kept very clean, sprayed constantly with water. The whole place is flooded with fluorescent lighting, giving it the feel of a sterile laboratory. The conveyor system, which transports pig carcasses from one station to another, moves efficiently.


The abattoir, owned by Primary Industries, a subsidiary of Singapore Food Industries, started operations on April 26, 1999.

It adopted an integrated system of processes which keeps meat chilled or frozen before it is sold. These measures were taken in response to the 1999 Nipah-virus outbreak in which diseased pigs from Malaysia infected several abattoir workers here, killing one of them.

The abattoir currently contributes about 20 per cent of Singapore's pork supply.

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