July 22, 2008


Turkey report shows 25 percent of meat produced illegally


A report from the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZD) revealed that 25 percent of Turkey's cattle slaughter is unregulated, translating to 400,000 tonnes of illegal meat production per year, said TZD President Ibrahim Yetkin.


Turkish news agency Today's Zaman said the Cattle Breeding Business Report for 2008 recorded meat production in Turkey was 576,841 tonnes in 2007, up 31.5 percent compared to 2006.


However, in 1990, registered meat production was 560,000 tonnes-which is about the same as the 2007 figures despite an 18-year gap.


Mr Yetkin said 60 percent of meat produced in Istanbul is unregistered and added that the use of unregulated cattle and sheep in Istanbul threatens human health, the cattle breeding business and the economy, according to Today's Zaman.


The TZD report also showed an increase in cattle population but a decrease in the number of sheep. The Turkish Statistics Institute listed the number of cattle at 11.1 million in 2007, up from and 10.6 million in 2006. As for sheep, numbers dropped by 5 million to 25.5 million in 2007.


The number of cattle, which fell sharply after the economic crisis in 2001, increased due to government incentives, which increased 17 times in the last five years. Meanwhile, Mr. Yetkin said the total economic loss in the sheep industry amounted to US$3 billion.


Mr. Yetkin also stressed that even though Turkey's meat production can meet the country's needs at the moment, it will have to import 170,000 tonnes of meat in 2015 if necessary precautions are not taken, according to statistics from State Planning Organization (DPT).

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