GEORGE TOWN, Feb 20 — Muslims must be wary about eating fish as some farms are feeding them non-halal animal by-products, the Penang Consumers Association (CAP) claimed today. CAP president SM Mohamed Idris claimed that in 2009, some fish farms in the country were found to have used wastewater from swine farms in their fish feed to purify it. He said there was another case where animal skulls and bones were spotted at the base of a fish pond and the bone sample was positive for swine DNA. He said there was yet another case in Perak where a whole pig carcass was used as nutrition to cultivate tilapia. He referred to the 2010 findings by Federal Agricultural and Marketing Authority (FAMA) and Universiti Sains Malaysia that revealed that 40 per cent of feed manufacturers in the country used mixed animal-based materials in animal feed.
“This created doubts on the halal integrity of animals fed with such feeds,” he said. He said the Malaysian National Fatwa Council has decreed that animals which are fed with non-halal feed are haram.
However, he said the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) in its Halal Certification Procedure Manual stated that animal feeds are categorised under unverifiable products. He called on Putrajaya to amend the Animal Feed Act 2009 to include elements of halal in the preparation, processing, production and handling of animal feed.
The Animal Feed Act regulates the animal feed industry in terms of quality and control on importation, manufacture, sale, and use of feed and feed additives. Mohamed Idris also called for Jakim’s Halal Certification Procedure Manual to be amended to include animal feed as one of products certifiable by Jakim under its halal certification scheme.
He called on the government to come up with a halal standard for animal feed preparation, production, distribution, labelling and handling to enable feed manufacturers to get their feed products halal-certified.
“Meanwhile Muslims should refrain from eating meat until such laws are enforced,” he advised.