Butchers go to school to learn better ways of handling meat

SONY DSCA three-day workshop for butchers on proper handling of meat to boost the meat industry in Ghana, is underway in Accra.

About 52 butchers from all over the country are attending the programme being organised by the Veterinary Services Directorate (VSD).

According to the VSD, the programme, under the auspices of the African Union-Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) Veterinary Governance Programme, had become necessary in view of the improper way butchers process meat for human consumption and which can pose health risks to consumers.

The Head of Public Health of the VSD, Dr. Bashiru Boi Kikimoto, in an interview with The Ghanaian Times, said an audit conducted by the VSD indicated that most butchers were not processing meat under hygienic conditions.

It also revealed that most of the butchers slaughtered animals in inhumane manner.

Dr. Kikimoto said the workshop, which was held annually, was designed to build the capacity of the participants on meat hygiene, sanitation slaughter facilities and good meat handling practices.

He said the programme was to strengthen the relationship between the VSD and butchers across the country as well as educate them on Legislative Instrument 2216 on Miscellaneous Fees and Charges.

The LI, the Head of Public Health said, talked about proper movement of animals for slaughter, anti and post mortem fees and slaughter fees.

“It is our expectation that after the three-day programme, the butchers would have appreciated the need to discard carcasses and not process them for human consumption,” he said.

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Animal Services, Dr. Hanna Bisiw in a speech read on her behalf, said she was elated AU-IBAR had approved  her request for the training workshop, saying the training programme was meant to broaden the horizon of butchers in the country to enhance their business.

She said the safety of mean for human consumption largely depended on butchers, stressing the actions and inactions could promote or mar the meat industry in Ghana.

The Deputy Minister advised butchers to stop slaughtering animals for public consumption in places not approved by the VSD and also warned traders and butchers who engage in buying sick animals for slaughter for human consumption to henceforth desist from the practice.

To promote the meat industry, she said the VSD in 2014 instituted the Best Slaughter House Award, to encourage excellent hygienic conditions in all slaughter houses in the country.

Some of the butchers who spoke to the Ghanaian Times commended VSD and the AU-IBAR for the training workshop.

 

By Kingsley Asare

 

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