As part of its efforts to curb the spate of illegal butchering and improper meat handling, the Lagos State Government has commissioned a semi-mechanized abattoir in the Bariga/Somolu axis of the state.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya revealed that the commissioning had become necessary owing to the activities of illegal butchers.
She stated that the state would no longer condone their activities, as she encouraged patronage of butchers in organised environments such as the newly-commissioned facility.
She said, “As we all know, Lagos is the largest market for cattle in Sub-Sahara Africa. In Lagos State alone, we receive over 1.8 million herds of cattle in a year and over 1.2 million herds of sheep and goats on an annual basis as well.
“Lagos being a large market for the red meat value chain, there is a need to have more abattoir in the state owing to population growth.
“Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic which started at a meat market in Wuhan, China, there is a need to have our meat slaughtered and processed under hygienic conditions, marketed and transported the right way.
“Hence, the partnership of the Lagos State Government with a private investor like Alh. Olayiwola Niniola to ensure we have fully mechanized abattoirs in the state.
“We enjoin all our butchers to patronise our semi and fully-mechanized abattoir because the state will not tolerate the slaughtering of animals on the floor”.
Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu has expressed commitment to revamping and maintaining the standard of the state’s red meat value chain.
To this end, he disclosed that he has approved the appointment of 25 new veterinary doctors.
“Lagos consumes more than 50 percent of red meat produced in the country, so we have to give back to our people by ensuring the quality of our red meat value chain.
“Today in Lagos, we have about 16 abattoirs of which the state government runs 11. We do not just want to own them, we want to double the numbers.
“We want to encourage more investors into the sector. I have given an approval to employ about 20 to 25 additional veterinary doctors in the Ministry of Agriculture so that we have all we require for this industry,” he said.
He also noted that the new semi-mechanized abattoir was a blueprint for other businesses to learn from especially as it was by the State Government’s ATM (Abattoir, Transportation and Marketing) reform agenda in the red meat value chain.