The Lagos State Government has dismantled an illegal slaughter slab in the Okerube area of Alimosho Local Government, arrested 10 butchers and confiscated two live cows as it commences the enforcement exercise on illegal slaughter slabs.
The exercise was carried out by men of the re-inaugurated Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance (MEC) Team of the State Ministry of Agriculture in furtherance of the sanitisation of the red meat value chain.
The State’s Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, who made this known on Thursday, explained that the exercise is coming on the heels of repeated warnings to the operators of these illegal slaughter slabs and the menace caused by their activities.
She said, “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”.
Olusanya noted that the State Government re-inaugurated the Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Team last week and charged it with the responsibilities of removing illegal abattoirs, controlling and enforcing issues relating to transportation and sale of meat, as only Eko Refrigerated Meat Vans and Eko Live Animals Transport are 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 beings, 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 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 opined.
She maintained that these illegal abattoirs were constituting a hazard to the businesses of legal operators who are doing everything possible to ensure that only healthy and wholesome meat is produced for the populace.
The Acting Commissioner further stated that the MEC Team would also monitor the standards of operations of all the approved slaughterhouses in order to ensure compliance with professional best practices.
While declaring that the arrested butchers would be prosecuted at the Lagos State Task Force Mobile Court, Olusanya stated that the confiscated carcass has been donated to the Juvenile Remand Home at Oregun, Ikeja after verification that the meat is safe for consumption, while the live cows would be deposited at the Oko-Oba abattoir at Agege for recovery by their owners within 48 hours or if unclaimed within the period.