The Federal Government has commenced the process of enacting a `Meat Hygienic Act’ to regulate the operations of abattoirs and slaughter slabs in the country.
Dr Shehu Ahmed, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this at the official handover of the rehabilitated Lafia modern abattoir to the Nasarawa State Government.
A statement by Mr Tony Ohaeri, the Director of Information, in Abuja on Monday, said that Ahmed was reacting to the deplorable state of abattoirs and slaughter slabs across the country.
Ahmed said the move was to ensure the supply of healthy meat and other livestock products for public consumption.
The permanent secretary expressed regrets that abattoirs in the country did not meet the minimum operating standards to guarantee food safety.
He said government in its readiness to address the situation made budgetary provision to upgrade facilities in some selected states.
“It is expected that the state government gives the maintenance of the facilities a top priority in order to achieve the desired objective of providing safe and wholesome meat for public consumption.
“We also urge the state government to consider and enter into partnership with private investors to manage and operate the abattoirs in line with best global practices for sustainability and improved revenue generation,’’ he said.
He appealed to state governments to complement the efforts of the Federal Government by upgrading other abattoirs in their states.
Ahmed said that the Federal Government would continue to partner with state governments and other interested investors in abattoir development to improve food safety in the country.
The statement quoted Mr Muhammad Zakari, the Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, as saying that the government would support programmes and policies of the Federal Government that would be beneficial to its citizens.
Zakari urged butchers in the state to put the structure into proper use under a good hygienic condition, adding that it was significant following cases of diseases associated with meat processing.