Wed, 02 Aug 2000

Residents unaware of wild boar meat issue

JAKARTA (JP): Many city residents were unaware of a warning by the Jakarta administration on Monday that wild boar meat was being sold as beef in a number of markets.

Interviewed separately by The Jakarta Post on Tuesday, shoppers and shopkeepers at Pasar Palmerah in West Jakarta, Pasar Minggu in South Jakarta and Pasar Perumnas Klender in East Jakarta said they were unaware of the practice of selling wild boar meat as beef.

Nana, a shopper at Palmerah market, said she had not heard about the city administration's warning. "I usually do not take a careful look to make sure that it's really beef because I haven't heard the rumors."

Another group of shoppers at the market were also unaware of the rumors. "I am not too worried about it," Tri said after being told about the Jakarta administration's warning.

"Besides, I seldom buy beef. It's too expensive for me. I buy tempe (fermented soya beans), so I don't have anything to worry about."

The head of the Jakarta Animal Husbandry Agency, Edi Setiarto, warned city residents on Monday about wild boar meat which was believed to have bypassed inspection authorities and was being sold in markets as beef.

Dani Anwar, the secretary of City Council's Commission B on economic affairs, said on Monday he received information that wild boar meat had been sold at Pasar Minggu and Pasar Senen in Central Jakarta.

However, shoppers at Pasar Minggu said on Tuesday they were unaware of wild boar meat being sold in the market.

"I often buy beef here and have never found anything suspicious about the beef," a shopper, Yanti, said.

Esta Dirgantari, who regularly purchases beef at Pasar Perumnas Klender, was of the same opinion.

Earlier, Edi issued a warning that wild boar meat was similar in appearance to beef and even a butcher would have difficulty distinguishing the two.

A beef vendor at Palmerah market, Totok, said he always purchased his meat from an authorized butcher. "I buy beef directly from the city-owned Cakung slaughterhouse in East Jakarta. So you can be sure that it is beef."

A beef vendor at Pasar Minggu, Rudi, said beef vendors in the market sold their meat for around Rp 27,000 (US$3) a kilogram.

Edi said wild boar meat was priced as low as Rp 14,000 a kilogram. (jaw)