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Unhealthy meat: FG asked to overhaul abattoir operations nationwide

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THE Federal Government has been advised to overhaul abattoir operations in the country to prevent the consumption of unwholesome meat. 
Experts including animal scientists and veterinary doctors told the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to develop a database of abattoirs and slaughter slabs nationwide for proper monitoring and delivery of healthy meats to the people.
They spoke during a two-day summit organised by the ministry for the media and other stakeholders on Thursday in Abuja.
From animal identification to husbandry, slaughtering, processing and transportation to final consumers, the concerned professionals asked the FG to swiftly engage relevant experts including veterinary doctors, animal health workers that would ensure sanity in the system.
They noted that unhealthy practices had contributed to the under-development of the livestock sector.
“We need to ensure all beef that goes into food chain are fit for consumption and there is need for database of all livestock markets, abattoirs and slaughter slabs in Nigeria,” Azeez Adedayo,  an expert from the Institute for Agricultural Research and Training stated.
Other participants also called for database of beef cattle farmers in Nigeria and the “conservation of indigenous breed like muturu and others.”
However, the experts asked for a platform to link producers, processors and marketers in the beef value chain.
They urged FMARD to extend capacity building of abattoir operators to modern meat processing techniques to other states.
They also encouraged salary earners to go into livestock cooperative farming as an alternative source of generating income.
Actors from the private sector were encouraged to invest in meat processing facilities.
A veterinary doctor Dambo Mohammed said animals meant for distribution as a form of supports or empowerment should be certified healthy from the market before purchase.
The meeting also served as a platform to discuss issues and misconceptions around the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP).
Earlier, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mohammed Mahmood urged participants to make implementable recommendations that would promote successful execution of the NLTP.
It could be recalled that the National Executive Council (NEC) under leadership of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo initiated the plan with inputs from the State Governors and other stakeholders to address the herders – farmers crises in the country.
Selected states such as Adamawa, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna are already in the pilot stage of the initiative.
About N100 billion has been approved as required to execute the national livestock plan and part of the funding would be sourced from the private sector, it was gathered.
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Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at oadanikin@icirnigeria.org. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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