As part of efforts aimed at ensuring and maintaining a hygienic and conducive environment within abattoirs and the red meat value chain business in Lagos, the State government has trained no fewer than 400 butchers and live cattle dealers drawn from various abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the State on current trends in abattoir management.
The training, which centered on the standard operating procedures in abattoir management, was organized by the State Ministry of Agriculture as part of the ongoing reforms in the Red Meat Value Chain in Lagos State.
Speaking at the closing and presentation of certificates to the participants, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau noted that there is the need for attitudinal change by stakeholders and concessionaires in the red-meat-value chain business especially in the areas of operational procedures and abattoir management.
He added that the State government, in addressing these challenges, sponsored some butchers, live cattle dealers and other stakeholders in the red meat value chain business on a study tour of Kenya and Botswana Red Meat Industry.
“The aim of the tour then was to expose the butchers to the international standard of operation in the industry towards improving the hygiene status in all the approved abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the State and ensure wholesomeness in the meat that is locally consumed”, Suarau said.
The Commissioner disclosed that the Kenya-Botswana declaration of 2014 resulted in an agreement between the State Government and the stakeholders that every stage of the meat value chain should be upgraded to encourage export of meat and meat products.
He pointed out that government has since embarked on a quick-fix at the Oko-Oba Abattoir to put a stop to the former system of slaughtering of animals and processing of carcases on bare-floor, stressing that upgrading of all the approved abattoirs and slaughter slabs to a semi-mechanized abattoir had since commenced.
In his words, “As at today most of the slaughter slabs in the State have been upgraded to semi-mechanized abattoirs; some of these are Matori, Achakpo and Ikorodu abattoirs, while the upgrading of Ologe, Ibiye and Ilaje abattoirs are ongoing and will be completed soon”.
Suarau presented certificates to participants and charged them to put what they have learnt to use and cascade the training down to operators in their various abattoirs and slaughter slabs.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman Lagos State Butchers’ Association, Mr. Alabi Bamidele Kazeem said this is the first time Government is organizing a capacity building for butchers, adding that it is a sign of better things to come in the near future.
He, therefore, implored the participants to train other butchers who are not opportuned to participate in the training so that the objectives of the programme can be far reaching.