Lagos, Butchers partner to check Illegal Abattoirs

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The Lagos State Government is partnering some 30,000 registered butchers in the state, to check the activities of illegal abattoir operators.

SEE ALSO: Four suspects in custody for selling Decomposed meat

The Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

He said that the collaboration would ensure that only certified animal carcasses would be sold in Lagos markets.

Lawal said that any butcher who slaughtered animals at an illegal abattoir would be punished because of the state’s red meat reforms.

According to him, no fewer than 30,000 butchers have been registered under the state’s red meat reform initiative.

“The State Government will continue with its advocacy campaign on the new reform.

“Apart from using the police or taskforce to check illegal operators, we are also deploying strategies that are fool-roof.

“As a matter of fact, we have what we call the ATM strategy –Abattoir, Transport, Markets. It is a red meat reform, initiated in 2019.’’

He noted that with the intervention of government in the value-chain, the problem of illegal abattoirs had reduced substantially.

The commissioner said the government had encouraged private sector investments on abattoirs, noting that the initiative had helped to reduce the number of unregistered abattoirs.

Lawal said the State Government was committed to carrying out continuous reforms on the red meat value-chain, to ensure that residents consumed safe, wholesome and hygienic meat, processed in certified environments.

He said that the government had also engaged stakeholders in the meat value-chain, including veterinary doctors, to certify animals before slaughtering while butchers would be formally licensed to slaughter animals.

“If you slaughter in an illegal abattoir, you are going to have a problem.

“If you slaughter in our own abattoir, you will have a licence to show that the animal is fit for consumption before you will take it to the slaughter line.

“As you are moving the animal, we will give you tag to show that it is from our veterinary doctors.

“We also have refrigerated meat vans, although some of them are no longer refrigerated but they are being refurbished.

“We will now move the carcasses from approved slaughter slabs to the market.’’

Lawal said further that any carcass of an animal sold in the market would already have had a tag.

He explained that with the tag, a Local Government committee and the butchers’ association would monitor the meat as they entered markets.

“So, it is a chain and it is a way of monitoring and re-ensuring that illegal slaughter lines are not allowed to operate again.’’

The commissioner warned that the state’s meat hygiene law stipulated severe penalty for illegal abattoir operators.

“There is a meat hygiene law. Penalty for offenders is prosecution if you have an illegal abattoir,’’ he stated.

The commissioner assured that the Lagos government would not rest on its oars until activities of illegal abattoirs were completely eradicated in the state.

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