- …warns erring butchers, vent officials
By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) has declared its resolve to promote and enforce hygienic meat handling practices in abattoirs across the FCT.
The Acting Secretary of the Secretariat, Mr. Ibe Prospect Chwukuemeka made this declaration during an early morning unscheduled inspection visit to some abattoirs, in order to assess the level of compliance to established safety standards.
Ibe expressed serious concern over frequent complaints of unhealthy practices in the processing of meat, describing it as unacceptable.
He maintained that the Secretariat will no longer condone activities that constitute hazards to the public, disclosing that it is working towards introducing new measures to enhance effective monitoring of activities in the abattoir.
“Going forward, we will be introducing new measures that will enable us monitor every activity taking place in the abattoirs; from the point of meat inspection and supervision by our Veterinary officials to ensure compliance with hygienic processes by the butchers in the abattoirs.
“Also, we will introduce new technologies to strengthen the surveillance to address reports of the use of tyres to roast meat as well as drug peddling,” he explained.
The Acting Secretary appealed to the butchers to desist from the use of unclean bare floors in the butchering of meat, advising them to make use of thick leather sheets to prevent contamination.
According to a statement from the Deputy Director, Information, ARDS, Zakari Aliyu, the team had visited the Karu and Kubwa abattoirs.
It added that on the issue of environmental sanitation and pollution, the ARDS boss said the Secretariat is working in collaboration with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) as well as engage the services of reputable cleaning services companies for cleaning and evacuation of waste in the various abattoirs.
He however assured that the Secretariat is doing its best to rehabilitate the existing stuctures, while equally making efforts to attract the participation of private sector.
He therefore appealed for the support and cooperation of the Area Councils in improving services in the slaughter slabs.
“You will recall that under the instructions of the Honourable Minister of State FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Secretariat held discussions with officials of the 6 Area Councils to stress the imperative of doing the needful in terms of facilities and practices in the slaughter slabs,” the Acting Secretary stressed.