The Lagos State Government has directed the major food vendors to henceforth submit a ‘veterinary health certificate for the trade of meat’ to the inspecting veterinary personnel in the state Ministry of Agriculture.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday.
Gbolahan said the state government would confirm the certificates to ascertain that the animal had been duly slaughtered under hygienic conditions.
He noted that this policy, apart from being part of the new strategies the government was adopting, was also aimed at sanitising the meat value chain.
The commissioner said the policy was in conformity with Section 4, Cap M3, Meat Inspection Law of Lagos State and the Fourth Schedule (Regulation 33) of the Law.
He added that the policy change was informed by reports about the terrible state of sanitary affairs in some abattoirs in the state and the embarrassment it could cause for the image of the state and the confidence in the meat value chain.
He said: “Veterinary divisional heads have also been mandated to identify meat vending outlets that are major distributors and retailers of meat within their respective divisions.
“They are to issue letters of a notice containing a moratorium 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 jurisdictions.
“They must ensure that meats emanating from their divisions, which must come from mechanised facilities, are issued the veterinary health certificate for the trade of meat.” (NAN)