The Lagos State government has revealed that it has initiated biosecurity measures across its abattoirs and slaughter houses.
The move was part of measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases through the facilities.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, explained that the government has stopped all non-essential activities such as food vendors and other non-related abattoir activities.
Lawal, however, warned that the state government would not condone any illegal conveyance of meat and meat products from any of the abattoir and slaughter houses to the markets, adding that the use of Eko refrigerated meat van was the only recognised means for transportation.
He urged butchers to discourage their customers from touching meat or meat products, saying customers should only point at whatever they want and butchers with gloved hands should sell the meat.
The Commissioner stressed the need for crowd control during slaughtering process where a maximum of four persons per cow should be adhered to on the slab.
“The era of several customers touching meat or meat products on display is over as the Lagos meat reforms is poised to ensure only wholesome meat is sold to the populace and also promote food safety,” he added.
He advised all butchers and food vendors to be fully kitted and maintain a high level of personal hygiene by regular washing of hands and tools, adding that a member of the management of each concessionaire who is fully kitted and stationed at an entrance, should also ensure the use of hand held thermometer on individuals coming into the abattoir and the mandatory use of hand sanitisers.
He maintained that it was important for all unit heads of abattoirs in the state should sensitise all the butchers in their respective abattoirs on the dangers and preventable measures of the COVID-19 as well as the need to sensitise the entire abattoir stakeholders on the need for sick members to stay away from the abattoir and seek medical assistance.
“Posters and handbills on COVID-19 shall be made available at all our abattoir and meat markets emphasising the symptoms of the disease, the preventive measures to be taken and the phone numbers to contact in cases of suspected outbreak.
“It is also important that we increase the level of sanitation of the entire environment at our abattoir and slaughter houses in the state,” he said.