The Lagos State Government has adopted some biosecurity measures at every facility within the Oko-Oba Abattoir and Lairage Complex and other slaughter houses within the state.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, said on Monday in Lagos that this was to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Lawal said in a statement that the state government had stopped all non-essential activities such as food vendors and other non-related abattoir activities.
He added that the ban on any religious gathering or any form of gathering that involve more than 20 people would be strictly enforced at the abattoir and slaughter houses in the state.
The commissioner said that those houses were expected to provide hand sanitizes and distance thermometer at the entrance of their facilities.
Lawal said that it was now important for all unit heads of abattoirs to sensitize all the butchers in their respective abattoirs on the dangers and preventable measures against COVID-19 in the state.
He said that there was need to sensitize 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 abattoirs and meat markets, emphasizing 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 abattoirs and slaughter houses in the state,” he said.
The commissioner added that all butchers and food vendors should be fully kitted and maintain a high level of personal hygiene by regular washing of hands and tools.
He said that a member of the management of each concessionaire, fully kitted and stationed at an entrance, should ensure the use of hand held thermometer on individuals coming into the abattoirs and mandatory use of hand sanitizes.
The commissioner stressed the need for crowd control during slaughtering process, where a maximum of four people per cow should be adhered to on the slab.
Lawal reiterated that the state government would not condone any illegal conveyance of meat and meat products from any of the abattoirs and slaughter houses to the markets.
He added that the use of Eko refrigerated meat van was the only recognized means of transporting meat and meat products in the state.
Lawal said that butchers should discourage their customers from touching meat or meat products, but rather point at whatever they want while the butchers with gloved hands should sell the meat.
“The era of several customers touching meat or meat products on display is over.
“The Lagos State meat reforms is poised to ensure that only wholesome meat is sold to the populace, and also promote food safety,” the commissioner said.