Butchery owners accuse abattoir of supplying FMD infected meat
The Butcheries Association in Maun has accused the veterinary department officers of letting the Maun Private Abattoir supply the community with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) meat.
Speaking to The Voice recently the spokesperson for the association Taudi Lopang alleged that there have been cases of FMD reported at the abattoir but veterinary officers always turn a blind eye and never take action on the matter.
He said that instead of accompanying farmers to their loading zones, the veterinary officers prefer to stay and wait at the abattoir.
“The veterinary officers do not go to loading zones and prefer to be present only when cattle arrive and when they see FMD signs they ignore because they know that it is their fault that the affected animals are there. They protect their jobs at the expense of people’s health,” alleged Lopang.
He also that it is not clear whether the abattoir is a slaughter slab, slaughter house or an abattoir because it does not meet any of the standards.
He gave an example of lack of truck washing bay which he said will likely result in the spread of FMD all over Ngamiland.
However a shareholder at the abattoir Tumani Chimbise dismissed the allegations as blatant lies by people bent on tarnishing their image.
He said that their abattoir is a slaughter slab which does not handle cattle but slaughter only.
“Some of the things they accuse us of are not our responsibility; we don’t grade animals here because it is a slaughtering facility,” he said
Meanwhile the Veterinary Superintendent Keofe Lempadi acknowledged that there are certain things that are still lacking at the abattoir but said they don’t affect operations or put the lives of consumers at risk.
“You have to understand that the abattoir is still new and some of the things will be put in place as time goes on.”
He also dismissed allegations of FMD cases being reported at the abattoir saying that the allegations are being perpetrated by people with hidden agendas.
“They want the government to close the abattoir so that they can go and slaughter under trees,” he said.
He also explained that it is not compulsory for a veterinary officer to be present when animals are loaded especially in FMD free zones because of shortage of manpower.