Meat processing for comsumption in three major towns in Katsina state is being conducted in an unhygeinic way, an investigation by Arewa Trust has revealed.
The towns are Katsina, the state capital, Funtua and Daura.
Our correspondent who visited Katsina abbatoir reports that butchers have abandoned the modern abattoir, built 30 years ago, because of lack of basic facilities.
The project was a joint venture between the state and federal governments designed to ensure healthy meat supply to the city.
Most of the equipment, provided for the use of the butchers, are now absolete while the structure is dilapidated.
The cold stores are not functioning, the boreholes have collapsed and there is no power supply in the premises.
Butcher men were seen slaughtering their animals on the pavements outside the main building close to open drains filled with wastes which is releasing a strong stench.
Water used for washing the meat is being fetched in buckets from nearby sources.
A butcher Hamza Garba said the number of animals being slaughtered was declining.
“In the past over 200 animals were slaughtered daily but we hardly slaughter 20 now,’’ he said.
Another butcher, who simply gave his name as Abdullahi said operations at the abbatoir were being done crudely.
“For long we have forgotten that it’s a modern abattoir because our operations are done manually and in the olden and traditional ways inherited from our forefathers.’’
The only health officials seen by our reporter at the premises were students from the Schol of Health Science, who said they were on industrial attachment.
One of the students, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said health practices at the abattoir were poor.
“We are only here to see and fill in our log books, we can’t do anything about that, it’s beyond our mandate.
Arewa Trust reports that the situation is similar in Daura as butchers were forced to use local places to process their meat.
The site for a the modern abattoir, located at Unguwar Madina has been taken over illegally by individuals.
According to a source all its surrounding land has virtually been taken over by private developers.
The abattoir is still uncomplete forcing the residents to patronise the Unguwar Mayanka area that has for long served as place for slaughtering animals using the traditional methods.
The story is not different in Funtua, where the abattoir was also abandoned because of absolete equipment and lack of maintenance.
Processing of meat is also done in an unhygeinic condition which is a source of concern to the residents.
Food vendors said there was nothing they could do since there was no alternative source of meat in the town.
They said they just ensured that the meat was properly washed and cooked to kill all germs.
Madam Franca Ham, who operates a restaurant and buys meat at the abattoir, said she ensured proper cooking of the meat to safeguard her customers.
Bashir Mohd, a tailor, also expressed concern at the unhygeinic situation at the abattoir.
“If one is to go and see how the meat is being processed he will end up not eating meat at all. The conditions are terrible, blood all over, dropping of animals and so on,’’ he said.
Officials of the state butchers association declined to comment of the issue.
Similarly officials of the state ministry of agriculture were not available for comments.