The Veterinary Services Department is prepared to facilitate efforts to establish a Bumiputera consortium in managing the import of beef cattle and goats, says director-general, Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam.

He said the recommendation by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman for a Bumiputera consortium to be set up could provide benefit in terms of creating more competitive pricing.

Quaza Nizamuddin said the consortium should involve government-linked companies that have financial potential to work together with Bumiputera entrepreneurs, forming a powerful alliance that could break through the meat and livestock import market.

Further commenting on allegations of a 'cartel' monopolising the import of meat, he said the department was not involved in the trade and import of meat, but only regulated the entry of animals and products into the country, especially in terms of health quality, hygiene and safety.

"We are rather open on this matter as qualified companies are only required to submit an application to the department to secure a permit to import meat and livestock," he told a press conference here on Monday.