The Lagos State Government says the slaughtering of animals in just anywhere will no longer be allowed in the state. The government added that it was repositioning abattoirs in the state to halt slaughtering of animals on filthy surfaces.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Gbolahan Lawal, explained that in line with the new policy, the government would boost the skills of veterinary doctors and officers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in the area of effective meat inspection at abattoirs.
The commissioner said this during the inauguration of a 10-day training for 25 veterinary officers on Tuesday at the Lagos State Agricultural Centre in Agege, Lagos. Lawal added that the training was carried out in collaboration with PWG Consultancy of the United Kingdom. He said the government was desirous of repositioning the state’s abattoirs for wholesome meat supply. He explained that after leading stakeholders on a tour of abattoirs in Kenya and Botswana, the orientation of government had changed because modernised meat distribution system operated in the countries.
He said, “People in Kenya and Botswana process and export wholesome animals outside their countries. When we came back from the tour, we agreed that a reform must take place in Lagos to make us get to the level of Kenya and Botswana. “When I visited South Africa, I discovered that an abattoir there is about 98 years old and when I came back, we resolved that never again would we slaughter animals on the ground. We need to boost the skills of our inspection officers to carry out the work effectively, which informed this 10-day training,”
Lawal added that 25 veterinary officers were being trained to later retrain others on train-the-trainer basis. Managing Director, PWG Consultancy, Katie Okafor, observed that abattoirs in Nigeria were being run in an outdated manner with unhygienic meat supply becoming the hallmark of the day. She urged the trainees to be ready to take action to change things in the state.