Vet officers worried over unhygienic slaughtering of animals
The illegal slaughtering of animals at satellite slaughtering slabs in the Tamale metropolis is a major source of worry to veterinary officers in the area. They contend that that illegal activity impacts negatively on the health of residents of the sprawling metropolis.
Although there are environmental health personnel and meat inspectors at the new abattoir located around Nyohini, a suburb of Tamale, much needs to be done about the conditions under which the animals are slaughtered.
According to the Northern Regional Veterinary Officer, Dr Karikari Agyemang, it was disheartening that sellers, butchers and all manner of people converged at the slaughter houses to transact business under unhygienic conditions.
He explained that the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) needed to do more to improve sanitation, particularly at the abattoir, since “environmental health falls under their purview”.
Dr Agyemang stated, for instance, that it was not the best for butchers to slaughter animals while they were bare-chested and stressed the need for the TAMA to help sensitise butchers in that regard.
“The mode of transporting meat from the slaughter houses to the marketing centres is also not the best, as the same vehicles used to transport people and other goods to and from the market are used to transport the meat,” he observed.
He explained that there were bye-laws regarding the slaughter of animals but noted that they were never enforced to the letter. Dr Agyemang expressed regret that ‘although some slaughter houses had been closed down, people still slaughtered animals there under unhygienic conditions.
Touching on the keeping of domestic animals for various reasons, the officer expressed concern over the manner in which the animals were left to roam the streets of Tamale.
He said his outfit had a routine programme to vaccinate animals every year, adding that that service must be paid for by the owners of the animals.
“We do not have the necessary logistics to go round slaughtering infected animals,” he further stated.