Following a recent clamp-down exercise carried out against illegal abattoirs, slaughter slabs and cattle markets by the Lagos State Government over the weekend, no fewer than 24 butchers and cattle traders have been arrested for offences bordering on illegal operations.
Speaking with newsmen after the exercise, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau explained that the exercise was carried out in Ikorodu and Badagry areas of the State by the Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Unit on Abattoirs and Slaughter Slabs, Stray Animals, Meat and Live Cattle Transportation and Regulation of Veterinary Premises.
The Commissioner stressed the need for periodic monitoring, enforcement and compliance in the red meat value chain business, adding that the effort will help prevent the spread of diseases, promote data collection for planning, promote good animal welfare and make Lagos a safe place for all inhabitants by discouraging environmental pollution and health hazards.
While reiterating that the State Government has declared zero tolerance on illegal abattoirs and slaughter slabs, illegal transportation of meat and cattles, 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 disclosed further that Government will not condone any act of uncleanliness and lawlessness in the red meat value chain business, adding that all aspects of the meat supply chain would also be scrutinized especially in the area of sanitation of slaughtering facilities, meat handling and movement.
“There is a growing recognition that the planned reforms is desirable to meet the State’s mega city status where the best practices of meat handling, environmental and facility hygiene is adopted to meet the international acceptable standard”, the Commissioner added.