Vet Services Directorate To Close Uncertified Abattoirs

Benjamin Kissi Sasu


THE VETERINARY Services Directorate under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) will embark on an exercise to close down all abattoirs that do not meet required standards, officials have announced.

The move, which will be preceded with a sensitisation exercise to educate management of abattoirs, consumers and other stakeholders on best practices in meat processing for consumption, is aimed at curbing the incidence of unhealthy practices that pose health risks to meat consumers.

Speaking on animal health and zoonotic diseases at a media engagement in Accra on Wednesday, the Risk Communications Director of the Veterinary Services Directorate, Benjamin Kissi Sasu, intimated that his outfit, by the exercise, aims at bringing a level of sanity in the meat business in the country.

He added that the sensitisation exercise would span three months after which they would move in full force to lock down all facilities that fail to meet the required standards.

“We are bringing a lot of sanity into the meat business, and we are looking at it from the slaughterhouse up to the final consumer. Years ago, our major concern was treatment and laboratory works, but now we’ve realised that food safety has become a big issue in the country,” he stressed.

Mr. Sasu urged meat consumers and the public to look out for certified stamps and slaughter permits issued by the Veterinary Services Directorate before purchasing their preferred meat from the various abattoirs.

The certified stamps, he explained, indicated that the meat had gone through thorough examination and was approved for consumption, thereby preventing the situation where consumers would end up consuming unwholesome meat and getting infected with meat-borne diseases.

“As a consumer, you need to make sure that you do due diligence to know the right facility that you’re getting your product from. Check whether they are certified by the Food and Drugs Authority, the Veterinary Service and other stakeholders that matter,” Mr. Sasu intimated.

Before any animal could be declared safe for slaughter, he said officers from the Veterinary Service must make sure the animal was properly rested and that proper clinical information, which would assist in the disease diagnosis and judgment, was obtained.

After slaughtering, strict hygienic precautions must be put in place during meat handling and preparations to prevent the meat from being subjected to pathogens that could be transmitted to humans, he added.

He assured that the directorate was prepared to go the extra mile to stop any unhealthy practices that posed a danger to the safety of consumers, while urging government to support the effort by increasing the number of staff and providing logistical support to alleviate some of the challenges the directorate go through during its operations.


BY Nii Adjei Mensahfio