By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Lagos State Government on Thursday clampdown on an illegal abattoir at Oke Rube area of Alimosho Local Government, arrested 10 butchers and confiscated two live cows.
The government had last week said it would begin clampdown on illegal abattoirs in the State.
The onslaught was carried out by men of the re-inaugurated Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Team of the State Ministry of Agriculture in furtherance of the sanitization of the red meat value chain.
Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya explained that the exercise was coming on the heel of repeated warnings to the operators of these illegal slaughter slabs and the menace of their activities.
“This dislodgement exercise is necessary especially as the State is particular about the production of wholesome and healthy meat for its residents while simultaneously ensuring that the streets are free of stray animals. We will also strictly enforce meat transportation using only the designated vehicles and stray animals control which has lately become more rampant in the State,” she said.
She said the state government re-inaugurated the Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Team last week Friday and charged it with the responsibilities of dislodging illegal abattoirs, controlling and enforcing issues relating to the transportation and sale of meat as only the Eko Refrigerated Meat Vans and Eko Live Animals Transport were the permitted means of transporting meat from one place to the another.
According to her, the team is also charged with the responsibility of confiscating stray animals on Lagos streets as they could easily spread zoonotic diseases to human being hence they pose an environmental and safety threat to the people.
“The Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Team will monitor and effect zero-tolerance to the existence of illegal slaughter slabs statewide and ensure proper regulation of veterinary activities statewide in conjunction with Lagos State Private Veterinary Premises Registration Authority.
“In addition, all aspects of veterinary premises regulations, veterinary standards/compliance monitoring and enforcement would be covered by the Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance team,” Olusanya stated.
According to her, these illegal abattoirs were constituting hazard to the businesses of legal operators who were doing everything possible to ensure that only healthy and wholesome meat were produced for the populace.
The acting Commissioner further stated that the MEC Team would also monitor the standards of operations of all the approved slaughter houses statewide in order to ensure compliance with professional best practices.
Olusanya stated that the confiscated carcass had since been donated to the Juvenile Remand Home at Oregun, Ikeja after due inspection by members of the veterinary team in order to ensure the safety of the meat while the live cows would be deposited at the Oko-Oba abattoir at Agege for their owners to claim them within 48hours or risk being similarly donated to charity.
She added that the arrested butchers would be prosecuted at the Lagos State Task Force Mobile Court.