Illegal slaughtering places “killing” Accra Abattoir – Chief Imam

Alhaji Osman Nuhu Sharabutu, National Chief Imam, on Tuesday observed that the illegal livestock slaughtering houses was negatively affecting the operations of the Ghana Butchers Association and the Accra Abattoir.

He said the unhygienic places for slaughtering cattle and goats sold to unsuspecting public was a major source of worry and therefore called on the Municipal and District Assemblies to enforce their bye-laws.

Alhaji Sharabutu made the call when he inaugurated the Accra Abattoir Mosque, a place of convenience, shower baths and a gas singeing plant at Lashibi, a suburb of Accra at the cost of GH¢46,000.

The Accra Abattoir Limited financed the project through an internally generated fund.

He said it was disheartening that meat sellers and all manner of people converged at slaughter houses to transact business under unhygienic conditions.

The National Chief Imam said the assemblies needed to do more to arrest the situation by sensitizing the butchers and the public.

The National Chief Butcher, Alhaji Zakari Sofo, said the members of the Butchers Association on several occasions had complained about the distance and the cost involved in transporting animals to the Accra Abattoir.

He said since the demolition of the Accra Slaughter House members had suggested to the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) that they were prepared to construct a modern slaughter house at their expense, but this idea was rejected.

Alhaji Sofo also expressed worry about the mode of transporting meat from the slaughter houses to the market centres and admitted that it was not the best as the vehicle transporting the meat conveyed people at the same time.

He said a delegation from the ten regions met with the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the AMA and the Vice President last year to request for two meat vans to ease their transportation burden and the construction of a new slaughter house, but they were all turn down.

Alhaji Sofo said there are bye-laws regarding unauthorized slaughtering of animals, but noted that they were never enforced to the letter.

“Without the examination of the animals by health officers the lives of the consumers are at risk,” he said and urged the assemblies to enforce their bye-laws by arresting recalcitrant butchers.

Mr Kwabena Osei-Boaten, Managing Director of the Accra Abattoir Limited expressed regret that a modern slaughter house constructed with the taxpayers’ money to provide healthy and hygienic slaughter services of livestock for the consuming public was being under-utilized.

He said the facility had been designed for handling 240 cattle, 240 sheep and goats and 120 pigs per shift per day, but on the average only 70 cows are slaughtered and singed daily due to the inability of the assemblies to enforce their laws to compelled the butchers to patronize the Abattoir.

Mr Osei-Boaten said the Abattoir was operating at very low capacity with a high operational cost, adding that “we pay GH¢7,000 per month for water and GH¢10,000 for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).” Therefore, he added,

“Our survival depends on the few butchers who slaughter at our facility although they refuse to pay economic rate for the services rendered.”

He said the Abattoir would collaborate with the AMA and other assemblies to find ways and means of getting most of the butchers at illegal slaughtering places to patronize the facility.

Mr Osei-Boaten said the company aims to construct boreholes to save it from the high water bills as well as to look for vantage locations to establish potential sale outlets and not to depend solely on the butchers’ slaughtering services.

Source: GNA

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