Stakeholders seek strict supervision of abattoirs to curb spread of anthrax

Stakeholders have called on the federal and state governments to ensure strict supervision of abattoirs nationwide to check the spread of anthrax.

The federal government had reported the disease outbreak in some neighbouring countries and recently in Niger. 

The stakeholders who spoke on Sunday called on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that only healthy animals were slaughtered for the citizens’ consumption.

Isa Yeah, permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Nasarawa State, said the government had set up machinery to ensure that butchers adhere to standard practice in all abattoirs in the state.

He said the state government worked assiduously to improve facilities at the two abattoirs in Karu and Lafia.

He said abattoirs are under the control of the state government, and veterinarians are assigned to ascertain the health of animals.

Ezekiel Baba, a lecturer with the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia, said there are only two abattoirs in the state.

He commended the state government for ensuring that animals and their products are examined before slaughtering and selling to consumers.

Mr Baba appealed to veterinarians to also ensure that animals taken to the abattoirs for slaughtering were certified for human consumption.

Kuje John, a butcher, urged the state government to build standard abattoirs with modern facilities in all the 13 local government areas of the state.

He said the private sector should also be allowed to build and manage abattoirs to complement the government’s efforts.

Ahmed Mohammed, a meat seller, appealed to the state government to build more Lafia town abattoirs to cater to the ever-growing population.

Salawu Tawara, director of veterinary services, Ministry of Agriculture, Kogi, said that before now, the state government had built abattoirs in all the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.

He said the abattoirs are manned by veterinary officers, who would certify the cows before they are slaughtered and sold to the public.

He said any cow confirmed to be sick would be killed and buried immediately.

Tolu Omotugwa, a veterinary doctor with the state government, said veterinary doctors man all functional abattoirs in Kogi.

Mr Omotugwa urged the government to complete the new abattoir with modern facilities for ease and seamless slaughtering of cattle.

Seun Babalola, a sanitarian with the Kogi Ministry of Environment, said the ministry had put everything in place to ensure the abattoirs were kept clean.

He said the Kogi State Sanitation and Waste Management Board (KSSWMB) are collaborating with the Department of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure a clean and safe environment at the abattoirs.

Adamu Ibrahim-Kato, director of public health in the Niger State Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, said veterinary officials were always available to inspect animals before slaughtering.

“These strict inspections help us to ascertain animals that are sick or infected so that we don’t kill them but place them on treatment for recovery,” he said.