Lagos Abattoirs: The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Oluwatoyin Suarau, has described the state of abattoirs and slaughter slabs in Lagos as clean, safe and secured.
Suarau, who spoke on Wednesday in his office at Alausa, Ikeja, while reviewing reports of the Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Unit on abattoirs, seizure of stray animal, monitoring of meat transportation and regulation of veterinary premises, noted that the present administration takes the issue of food security seriously and is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that foods made available to residents for consumption are hygienic and wholesome.
Highlighting measures put in place by the State Government to ensure that only wholesome meat and meat products are consumed in the State, the Commissioner said that the State government has upgraded existing slaughter slabs in Ikorodu, Matori, Ilaje and Ejigbo to semi mechanised abattoirs, while the Oko Oba Abattoir and Lairage Complex, Agege have been rehabilitated to ensure that operations at the complex meets international standard.
He added that the State Government has also banned the use of Okada for meat transportation within and outside abattoirs stressing that the Ministry of Agriculture is continuously enforcing this ban in all abattoirs and slaughter slabs.
He said: “We are also enforcing the use of specialised meat vans for meat transportation within the State and permit me to note that there has been an upgrade in the means of transportation from the previous Eko air cool to Eko refrigerated meat van.
“This still remain the only approved means of meat transportation in the State and not moribund as claimed. “We are also enforcing the use of specialised vehicle for live animal transportation.”
The Commissioner stated that the State Government has also commenced the development of mini modernised Abattoirs at various locations across the State through Public Private Partnership arrangement.
Suarau said: “The present administration of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is encouraging public private partnership in the meat value chain by licensing more private investors to establish mechanized and semi-mechanized slaughtering and processing facilities.”
Suarau noted that State Government is also training and re-training butchers and live cattle dealers drawn from various abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the State on current trends in abattoir management.
This, he said, is part of effort aimed at ensuring and maintaining a hygienic and conducive environment within abattoirs and wholesomeness in the red meat value chain business.
Reiterating that the State Government has declared zero tolerance on illegal abattoirs and slaughter slabs, illegal transportation of meat and cattle, unregistered veterinary premises and stray animals, Suarau noted that government will continue to close down abattoirs and slaughter slabs that are not established in compliance with the relevant laws governing meat slaughtering in the State.
He vowed that the State government will not condone any act of illegality and harmful health practices in any of the abattoirs in the State and as such as deployed sizeable numbers of veterinary officers, animal workers to abattoirs to ensure that the minimum set standard for animal slaughtering and processing are adhered to.
The Commissioner added also that the State Government will continue to train butchers, dislodge illegal abattoirs, seize stray animals and monitor how meat are transported to and from abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the State.
He said: “Government will continue monitor abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the State and will not hesitate to close down abattoirs and slaughter slabs that are unhygenic and not compliant with the relevant laws governing meat slaughtering in the state.”
Suarau added that the State government established the monitoring, enforcement and compliance unit on abattoirs, seizure of stray animal, monitoring of meat transportation and regulation of veterinary premises in order to develop the red meat value chain, restructure and sanitize abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the State for improved operations and promote a healthy environment for red meat business.
According to him, the need to introduce forceful intervention to bring about healthy change in abattoir operations was what informed setting up of the Unit, adding that since the unit started enforcement activities, many butchers and cattle marketers have been arrested for offences bordering on illegal operations while illegal abattoirs and slaughter slabs have been dislodged.