The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, said it had put in place a reform to set standards for the operation of abattoirs in the state.
Gbolahan Lawal, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Co-operatives, who made the disclosure in Lagos, said that the reform, tagged: “The Red Meat Industry Reform’’, was to ensure that meat processing was done in hygienic conditions.
He added that “the reform is the state government’s response to the problem of illegal abattoirs and preparation of animals in unhygienic conditions.
“The state government is concerned about the health of residents and the reform seeks to ensure that the meat consumed by the people does not constitute threat to their health.’’
The commissioner said a major component of the reform was the prohibition of the practice of trekking cattle from the market to the point of slaughtering.
Lawal said “when you make animals trek from one point to another, you get them tired and this reduces the meat quality of the animals. Meat should strictly be transported in refrigerated van to ensure it is safe for consumption.’’
He urged stakeholders to operate in line with the new reform when it becomes operational, noting, however, that “we also took some of the stakeholders to Kenya recently to show them how meat is prepared in hygienic conditions.
“And while we were there, we had a Nairobi Declaration, which we all agreed to work in line with. I urge all stakeholders to operate in line with the declaration and reform so that residents can be guaranteed of quality meat always.
“We do not want illegal abattoir because of the health dangers they pose and we will not hesitate to clampdown on such slaughter slabs.’’