The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) has recently banned the Australian slaughterhouse, Thomas Foods International Lobethal (TFIL), barring halal label holders in Singapore from importing any more meat from the said company further.
What is MUIS?
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) is the statutory board of the Government of Singapore responsible for administering Muslim affairs in the country. MUIS was established in 1968, following racial riots that had occurred the year before. The riots highlighted the need for better representation and management of Muslim interests in Singapore.
Today, MUIS is responsible for a wide range of functions pertaining to Muslim life in Singapore. These include regulating mosque operations, managing Zakat funds, providing religious education, and issuing halal certification. In recent years, MUIS has also been working to promote greater understanding and harmony between Muslims and people of other faiths in Singapore. This is an important task given the increasing religious diversity of our society.
Regarding Banning of Australian Slaughterhouse, Thomas Foods International Lobethal (TFIL):
The banning of Thomas Foods International Lobethal (TFIL) came from MUIS on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022. The main reason for the ban was the fact that the abattoir did not meet the halal requirements set out by MUIS. The halal certification, which was being accredited by the halal certification in Australia has been suspended for now.
According to MUIS, they did find some problems in some of the abattoir’s products that halal businesses from Singapore were previously importing.
The problems included Standard Operating Procedures violations and also the violation of food safety and halal requirements such as the use of non-stunned cattle and unhygienic conditions.
MUIS said that they have reached this decision after thorough deliberations and due consultations with the concerned parties. As a matter of fact, MUIS had two weeks earlier also notified the body that it was looking into the allegations against TFIL. As per the media reports, the investigations into the working of TFIL began after a former TFIL employee become a witness to the violations and came up with photographs as well as video evidence.
According to MUIS, they also enlisted the help of the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to gather all the necessary information from the relevant Australian departments, such as the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, about the slaughterhouse. Halal meat processors and distributors in Singapore used to import a large quantity of meat from Thomas Foods International Lobethal (TFIL).
However, a string of food safety issues involving the company and the following ban by MUIS in Singapore will drastically reduce the import of meat from them, especially by the halal meat operators in Singapore.
On the part of the MUIS, this vigilance and activism are both necessary and appreciable as people highly rely on the halal emblem for their halal food consumption.