Residents of Tapa, Idumagbo and Adeniji communities of Lagos Island local government area, Lagos State have raised the alarm over activities of some suspected butchers, who engage in alleged unauthorised slaughtering of cows for commercial purposes without approval from the state’s ministry of agriculture.
The residents pointed out that beyond the fact that the butchers are not using designated abattoirs, they fail to maintain basic sanitary measures.
Speaking to Global Patriot Newspapers, GPN, a resident of Tapa, Rasak Alimi, bemoaned the activities of the butchers, which he described as illegal.
Alimi, a veterinary doctor, noted that the suspected unauthorised butchers contravene requisite standards expected of ideal slaughtering practice.
“For the slaughterings being carried out by these butchers, they don’t follow standards.
“Ideally before you slaughter a cow, especially for commercial purpose, the health status of the cow must be ascertained by professionals in veterinary medicine. But this is not the case with the cows these butchers slaughter.
“I am not saying the cows are not fit for consumption, but in an ideal practice they must be tested in order to ascertain their health condition so that we won’t expose the public to unhealthy meat that will cause potential health risk to people.
“Because definitely not all the cows that are being slaughtered by these butchers will be fit for public consumption if tested.
Alimi further called on relevant authorities to do the needful concerning the activities of the butchers.
Also speaking, a leader of Idumaro community, Alh Ibrahim Kadiri, lamented the level of pollution caused by the butchers.
Kadiri noted that the activities of the butchers, which started about a year ago shortly after the 2017 Ramadan festival, is yet to attract significant attention from the government.
“I’m sure the local government is aware of their activities, although we have not officially written them,” he said.
“Majority of the people involved are street boys. And what we found out was that some boys about a year ago brought some rams during Ileya festival and later they started killing them at different locations and selling to people. The locations are about five to six within Lagos Island.”
Reacting, an executive member of the Lagos Island Butchers Progressive Association, Alhaji Wasiu Akande, however distanced the association from the illegal butchers.
He stressed that its members, who are under the umbrella body of the Lagos State Butchers Association, with headquarters located at No. 3 Ogunmokun Street, Mushin, Lagos, are recognized by the state ministry of agriculture and their activities are well regulated in line with global best practices.
“We don’t know them, they are not our members,” Akande said.
“Our activities are approved by the state ministry of agriculture with strict guidelines and facilities in place.”
When our Correspondent visited the identified locations, investigations revealed that no ideal slaughter slab and proper channel to empty waste materials from the cows being slaughtered are available.
This, according to experts, constitutes potential health risk to the residents in the area.