(Food & Beverages)
As a step in curtailing unwholesome nature of abattoirs and meat markets in Lagos State, government has set up a Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance Unit to dislodge illegal abattoirs, seize straying animal and ensure hygienic transportation of meat products within the city.
The new unit is also to enforce regulation of activities within all veterinary premises located in every part of the state.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Oluwatoyin Suarau at the inauguration of the enforcement unit pointed out that the setting up of the unit is in fulfillment of the promise by government to develop the red meat value chain, restructure and sanitize Abattoirs and Slaughter slabs for improved operations as well as promote a healthy environment for red meat business.
Suarau observed that the government is determined to ensure that all meat products from any abattoir in the state meet global quality, safety and compliance requirements.
“the responsibilities of the Unit will include monitoring of abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the State, dislodgement of illegal ones, monitoring and enforcing laws on transportation of meat and live cattle, control of stray animals and mobilization and enlightenment of private veterinary premises in the state”, Suarau charged.
The Commissioner warned that the State government has zero tolerance for illegal slaughter slabs that are scattered across the State adding that a situation where the frontage of food centers are used as slaughter slabs is no longer acceptable.
On arrest and seizure of straying animals, Suarau emphasised the resolve of government to prosecute owners of such animals within the State metropolis adding that government would no longer fold its arms and allow the menace to continue.
“Apart from causing accidents on our roads, these stray animals could also spread contagious diseases such as anthrax, rabies, tuberculosis and other ailments that could lead to death”, Suarau said.
He added that it is no longer tolerated for okada riders and tricycle operators to use the modes for transportation of animal products within the metropolis charging the enforcement unit to swing into action to arrest such offenders
The Commissioner who charged Unit to swing into action immediately, counseled them to scrutinize the different aspects of meat supply chain in the state particularly in the area of sanitation of slaughtering facilities, meat handling and movement.
The monitoring, compliance and enforcement task force will collaborate with the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, men of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and Governors Monitoring Team as security back up for the Unit in carrying out its task.
Shortly after the inauguration, the Commissioner led the team to the Oko-Oba Abattoir and Lairage Complex to dislodged over 100 hundred shanties and illegal structures which have been reportedly harboring miscreants and causing security breaches in the area.