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General News Wed, 18 Apr 2001

Chief butcher blames AMA over illegal slaughtering of livestock

The National Chief Butcher, Alhaji Soofo Zakari, on Tuesday blamed the indiscriminate slaughtering of animals at unauthorised places on the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA), which has failed to provide butchers with slaughter slabs and other facilities.

He told the Ghana News Agency in Accra that since the demolition of the Accra Slaughter House in November 1998, the Accra District has not had any convenient place to slaughter animals like pigs, sheep and goats.

Alhaji Zakari said the Accra Abattoir has no facilities for smoking slaughtered animals, adding: "we burn the skin after slaughtering animals like sheep and goats and wash them nicely before cutting them up. But the abattoir peels off the skin, which becomes a waste".

Besides, he said, the animals are not inspected to ascertain their wholesomeness or otherwise but are offered for sale to the unsuspecting public.

When asked why his members were not complying with the directives to patronise the abattoir at Lashibi, the chief butcher said they had on several occasions complained about the distance and the cost involved in slaughtering a goat or a sheep.

Alhaji Zakari also alleged that no better consultation was done with the butchers regarding the hygienic preparation of the meat after slaughter at the abattoir.

He said though the butchers suggested to the AMA that they were prepared to construct a modern slaughter house at their own expense, this was rejected.

The AMA also failed to heed a request by the butchers for a meat van to ease their transportation burden.

Asked if he was aware of diseases associated with the consumption of unwholesome meat, Alhaji Zakari said that it had become increasingly clear that something ought to be done.

He suggested to the AMA to allow butchers to contribute towards the construction of a new slaughter house or provide them with a meat van in the Accra Metropolis.

"We are ready to bring in investors to construct a modern slaughter house, an abattoir or slaughter slabs in the six sub-district of the Metropolis," he stated.

The Acting Director of the Metropolitan Public Health Department of the AMA, Mr. Emmanuel Akrofi Bruce, told the Ghana News Agency that a programme of activities had been drawn up to raid the various illegal slaughtering points.

He said since his office is charged to protect the health of the people, he would ensure that illegal slaughtering of animals was discouraged.

Source: GNA