By Dotun Omolaja, Lagos
Lagos State Government has read the riot act to operators of illegal abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the state.Â
Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Toyin Suarau said the move became necessary as a measure to guarantee wholesomeness in the process of meat which Lagosians consume.
Suarau stressed that it is necessary to monitor the whole process of meat handling right from the animal markets to the abattoir, and even transportation, saying that government has handled significantly the distribution aspect by introducing the Eko Refrigerated Meat Van which is now used to transport meat rather than the former obnoxious meat transportation.
â€œGovernment will continue to close down illegal Abattoirs and Slaughter Slabs which are not hygienic and not in compliant with the relevant laws governing meat slaughtering in the stateâ€™â€™ Suarau opined.
He said that the issue of animal slaughtering is still a big issue because a lot of animals must be inspected before and after slaughtering according to the meat inspection law.
â€œThe danger with unrecognized abattoirs is that the animals slaughtered there are not inspected by veterinary professionals to detect the one that has diseased or pregnant ones because it is illegal to slaughter pregnant animalâ€™â€™ he revealed.
The Commissioner stressed that Government is giving all operators of unauthorized abattoir within the State two week to close down operations.
He however disclosed that two-week ultimatum has been given to the operators of illegal abattoirs located within Military Cantonments and Barracks in the State, where Veterinary Officers are denied access, stressing that Government can no longer tolerate such illegal practice.
According to Suarau, â€œWe have veterinary officers deployed to all recognised abattoirs in the state to inspect and certify the meat hygienic for human consumption and that is why we are advocating that all illegal abattoirs in State should be shut downâ€.
The Commissioner further disclosed that the authorised abattoirs in the state are Abattoir and Lairage Complex Agege, Achakpo Mechanized Abattoir Ajegunle, Ologe Mechanized Abattoir Badagry (Under construction), Matori Slaughter Slab, Itire Slaughter Slab, Ilaje Slaughter Slab, Ikorodu Slaughter Slab, Badagry Slaughter Slab and Epe Slaughter Slab.
He however reiterated that Government will continue to clamp down and arrest operators of any abattoirs within the nook and crannies of the state that is not officially recognized.Â