By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is encouraging public-private sector partnership in the meat value chain business, Commissioner for Agriculture, Oluwatoyin Suarau, has said.
According to Suarau, the governor does this by licensing more private investors to establish mechanized and semi-mechanized slaughtering and processing facilities.
The governor also promotes the development of skill in abattoir management through approval of training and retraining of butchers and live cattle dealers so that they will be abreast with current trends in the management of abattoirs, the agric commissioner elaborated.”This,” Suarau stated, “is part of efforts aimed at ensuring and maintaining a hygienic and conducive environment within abattoirs and wholesomeness in the red meat value chain.”
He announced that government will continue to close down abattoirs and slaughter slabs that are not established in compliance with relevant laws governing the slaughtering of animals in Lagos State.
Suarau warned that Lagos State government will never condone any act of illegality and harmful health practices in any abattoir in the state. For this reason, he disclosed that the government has deployed “sizeable numbers of veterinary officers and animal workers to abattoirs to ensure that the minimum set standard for animal slaughtering and processing are adhered to.
“Government will continue to monitor abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the state and will not hesitate to close down abattoirs and slaughter slabs that are unhygienic and not compliant with the relevant laws governing meat slaughtering in the state,” the agric commissioner said.
He pointed out that the government is sanitizing abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the state in order to promote a healthy environment for red meat business.
“The need to introduce forceful intervention to bring about healthy change in abattoir operations was what informed setting up of the (enforcement) unit,” Suarau clarified..
The commissioner confirmed 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.