Lagos to enforce law on meat hygiene

Major food vendors who sell meat in Lagos State are henceforth to submit a Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat to inspecting veterinary personnel of the State Government who will then be expected to confirm through these certificates that the meat carcasses have been duly slaughtered under hygienic conditions.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, who disclosed this in Lagos over the weekend, noted that this policy is apart from being part of new strategies the State Government is adopting that are aimed at sanitizing the meat value chain in the State,  also in conformity with Section 4 of the Cap M3 Meat Inspection Law of Lagos State and the 4th Schedule (Regulation 33) of the Law.
Lawal added that the policy change was informed by reports about the terrible state of sanitary affairs at some abattoirs in the State and the subsequent embarrassment this potentially holds for the image of the State and confidence in the meat value chain.
The Commissioner explained that Veterinary Divisional Heads have also been mandated to identify meat vending outlets that are major distributors and retailers of meat within their respective divisions and issue letters of notice containing a moratorium to the distributors and retailers on the need for them to change their meat supply protocol to reflect the new policy.
“We have mandated our Veterinary Officers to do a periodic and systematic inspection of these facilities within their jurisdiction as such they must ensure that meat emanating from their divisions which must come from mechanized facilities are issued the Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat”, he said.
The Commissioner warned that any officer who breaches the code by signing off on carcasses and other by products of meat that are slaughtered from any facilities other than government approved abattoir facilities would be guilty of gross misconduct.

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