Known for its revolutionizing policies, which are later adopted by other states, the Lagos State Government has disclosed that butchers at its abattoirs and meat markets will start wearing uniform.
The move, according to the state government, was aimed at curbing unwholesome meat supply to residents of the state.
According to official figures, over 3,000 cattle are slaughtered per day in various abattoirs scattered across the state.
But in its bid to regulate what goes on in the slaughter houses as well as improve hygiene, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, said government was going to modernise the Lagos abattoirs to be at par with what is obtainable in Kenya and Botswana – both countries have been renowned for operating hygienic and modern abattoirs for a long time.
The development formed part of decisions reached at a meeting held with stakeholders in the Agege Abattoir on Tuesday.
Lawal said butchers at the abattoirs would put on “white uniform, while the slaughter slabs will be restricted to only accredited butchers”.
The commissioner said, “There is no way 21 million Lagosians will be allowed to consume unwholesome meat again. We are trying to benchmark our food chain with what is obtainable in Kenya and Botswana.
“Kenya Meat Commission was set up in 1958, while that of Botswana was set up 10 years after that of Kenya. Our own was set up just in 1992 and worked for only two years. This is a challenge and we will face it.
“We want to ensure that the productivity of our butchers and meat merchants is enhanced. Some states are moving fast and we have to move faster. Our train has left the station and we are not going back to unwholesome consumption of meat in Lagos State”.
The commissioner added that five other slaughter slabs had been lined up for rehabilitation, adding that in the next few months, there would be a comprehensive reform in meat processing as insurance scheme would be put in place for butchers in the state.
Lawal further added that by the second quarter of 2014, some investors would provide means of transportation for live animals rather than subjecting them to trekking long distances, which make the animals become weak.
“The day has come and we are starting the reform of meat value chain. The reform is in three phases – the short, medium and long term plan. The short term plan is the immediate modernisation of the Lagos Abattoir, Agege, while the medium and long term is the modernisation of other slaughter slabs”, he explained.