Lagos State Government has adopted a number of biosecurity measures at every facility within the Oko-Oba abattoir and lair age complex and other slaughter houses in the State to mitigate the spread of the novel COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Gbolahan Lawal, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, explained that the Government has stopped all non-essential activities such as food vendors and other non-related abattoir activities.
He added that the ban on any gathering that involve more than 20 people would be strictly enforced at the abattoir and slaughter houses in the State, adding that they are also expected to provide hand sanitizer and distance thermometer at the entrance of these facilities.
The Commissioner pointed out that it is now important for all unit heads of abattoirs in the State to sensitise all the butchers in their respective abattoirs on the dangers and preventable measures of the Novel COVID-19 as well as the need to sensitise the entire abattoir stakeholders on the need for sick members to stay away from the abattoir and seek medical assistance.
“Posters and handbills on COVID-19 shall be made available at all our abattoir and meat markets emphasising the symptoms of the disease, the preventive measures to be taken and the phone numbers to contact in cases of suspected outbreak.
“It is also important that we increase the level of sanitation of the entire environment at our abattoir and slaughter houses in the State,” he averred.
Lawal added that all butchers and food vendors should be fully kitted and maintain a high level of personal hygiene by regular washing of hands and tools adding that a member of the management of each concessionaire, who is fully kitted and stationed at an entrance, should also ensure the use of hand held thermometer on individuals coming into the abattoir and the mandatory use of hand sanitizers.
The Commissioner stressed that the need for crowd control during slaughtering process where a maximum of four persons per cow should be adhered to on the slab.
Lawal reiterated that the State Government would not condone any illegal conveyance of meat and meat products from any of the abattoir and slaughter houses to the markets, adding that the use of Eko refrigerated meat van is the only recognised means of meat and meat products.
He noted that butchers should discourage their customers from touching meat or meat products but rather customers are to point at whatever they want and butchers with gloved hands should sell the meat.
“The Era of several customers touching meat or meat products on display is over as the Lagos meat reforms is poised to ensure only wholesome meat is sold to the populace and also promote food safety,” the Commissioner said.