No fewer than ten butchers have been arrested and two live cows confiscated by the Lagos State Government after dislodging illegal slaughter slabs in the Oke rube area of Alimosho Local Government axis of the state as it commenced its clampdown on illegal abattoirs.
As stated, the exercise and subsequent arrests were in line with the government’s commitment to sanitizing the red meat value chain across the state, adding that the arrest was effected by men of the re-inaugurated Monitoring, Enforcement, and Compliance Team of the State Ministry of Agriculture.
The state’s Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, said that the illegal abattoirs were constituting 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.
Speaking after the exercise on Thursday, Olusanya said that the exercise was coming on the heels of repeated warnings to the operators of illegal slaughter slabs and the menace of their activities.
“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,” she said.
She noted that the state government re-inaugurated the enforcement team and charged it with the responsibilities of dislodging illegal abattoirs, controlling and enforcing issues relating to the transportation and sale of meat, stressing that only Eko Refrigerated Meat Vans and Eko Live Animals Transport are the permitted means of transporting meat from one place to 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 statewide 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.
The commissioner further stated that the MEC Team would also monitor the standards of operations of all the approved slaughterhouses statewide in order to ensure compliance with professional best practices.
She added that the arrested butchers would be prosecuted at the Lagos State Task Force Mobile Court.
“The confiscated carcass has since been donated to the Juvenile Remand Home at Oregun, Ikeja after due inspection by members of the veterinary team in order to ensure the safety of the meat while the live cows would be deposited at the Oko-Oba abattoir at Agege for their owners to claim them within 48hours or risk being similarly donated to charity,” the statement added.