Lagos raises alarm over Mammy Market Abattoirs

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

The Commissioner for Agriculture in Lagos State, Mr Toyin Suarau has raised an alarm over abattoirs located within military cantonments in the state.
Mr Suarau’s position is coming on the heels of claims that veterinary officials were not granted access into markets within army formations otherwise known as ‘mammy markets.’

According to the Agric Commissioner, the situation whereby the state veterinary officials are not allowed to certify animals before being slaughtered is worrisome and could lead to the consumption of unwholesome meat by the people.

The Commissioner who disclosed this in his office stressed that it had become necessary to monitor the whole process of meat handling right from the Animal Markets to the Abattoir, and even transportation.

He stated that government had handled significantly the distribution aspect by introducing the Eko Refrigerated Meat Van which was now used to transport meat rather than the former obnoxious meat transportation.

Riot act
Mr Suarau however read a riot act to operators of ‘mammy’ market abattoirs and other illegal slaughter slabs in Lagos State to desist from such practice or be sanctioned.

“Government will continue to close down illegal Abattoirs and Slaughter Slabs which are not hygienic and not in compliant with the relevant laws governing meat slaughtering in the state’’ Suarau stressed.

He said that the issue of animal slaughtering is still a big issue because a lot of animals must be inspected before and after slaughtering according to the meat inspection law.

“The danger with unrecognized abattoirs is that the animals slaughtered there are not inspected by veterinary professionals to detect the one that has diseased or pregnant ones because it is illegal to slaughter pregnant animal’’ he said.

14 days ultimatum
The Commissioner then gave a two-week ultimatum to all operators of unauthorized abattoir within the State to close down operations.

The two-week ultimatum has been given to the operators of illegal abattoirs located within Military Cantonments and Barracks in the State, where Veterinary Officers are denied access.

“Government can no longer tolerate such illegal practice. We have veterinary officers deployed to all recognised abattoirs in the state to inspect and certify the meat hygienic for human consumption and that is why we are advocating that all illegal abattoirs in State should be shut down,” the commissioner said.
He outlined the authorised abattoirs in the state including Abattoir and Lairage Complex Agege, Achakpo Mechanized Abattoir Ajegunle, Ologe Mechanized Abattoir Badagry (Under construction), Matori Slaughter Slab, Itire Slaughter Slab, Ilaje Slaughter Slab, Ikorodu Slaughter Slab, Badagry Slaughter Slab and Epe Slaughter Slab.