The National Butchers Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter has so far arrested and prosecuted over 20 persons suspected to be engaging in butchering and selling unhealthy meat in the state.
Alhaji Musa Baba Ahmad, the chairman of the union, who disclosed this in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital said the arrest was made possible through its taskforce and the collaboration of the State Ministry of Agriculture.
According to him, the union has decided to rid all abattoirs in the state of unwholesome activities, saying that the union cannot continue to fold its hands and allow some bad elements to cause health hazards in the state.
Ahmad, who promised to fight against illegal butchering and sales of unhealthy meat in the state, said some of the unhealthy abattoirs in the state have been closed down by the task-force set up by the government for such purposes.
He, therefore, called on butchers to adhere to international best practices in their business, saying that the union would not leave any stone unturned to arrest and prosecute any meat seller found wanting all in the name of doing business which at the same time puts the life of innocent consumers in danger.
“So far, we are able to arrest at least 20 persons allegedly selling and butchering unhealthy meat for public consumption.
“This is part of the report we got from the union’s task-force unit attached to work with the state Ministry of Agriculture to rid abattoirs of unhealthy meat.
“And some of the people arrested are not our members, we don’t know them, some of them are job-men hired to work in abattoirs.
“We are ready for them, because we cannot fold our hands and allow them coming from nowhere to spoil our market in the state.
“We will continue to clamp-down on them until the system is free from illegal acts and meat dangerous to health,” Ahmad said.
However, Ahmad assured the public that the meat from registered abattoirs were all medically tested for consumption, advising the public to buy meat directly from slaughter house to avoid health hazards.
The twenty persons were arrested late last year and the early part of the 2019.