Lagos State government on Monday said it has adopted a number of biosecurity measures at every facility within the Oko-Oba Abattoir and Lairage Complex and other slaughterhouses in the state to mitigate against the spread of the novel Coronavirus and other infectious diseases.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, disclosed this in a release made available to newsmen by the ministry, just as he said the government had banned all non-essential activities such as food vendors and other non-related abattoir activities.
This was just as the commissioner vowed that the ban on any religious gathering or any form of gathering that involved more than 20 people would be strictly enforced at the abattoir and slaughterhouses in the state, adding that abattoir and slaughterhouses were also expected to provide hand sanitizer and distance thermometer at the entrance of these facilities.
The commissioner pointed out that it was now important for all unit heads of abattoirs in the state to sensitize all the butchers in their respective abattoirs on the dangers and preventable measures of the Novel COVID-19 as well as the need to sensitize the entire abattoir stakeholders on the need for sick members to stay away from the abattoir and seek medical assistance.
“Posters and handbills on COVID-19 shall be made available at all our abattoir and meat markets emphasizing the symptoms of the disease, the preventive measures to be taken and the phone numbers to contact in cases of a suspected outbreak. It is also important that we increase the level of sanitation of the entire environment at our abattoir and slaughterhouses in the state,” he averred.
Lawal added that all butchers and food vendors should be fully kitted and maintain a high level of personal hygiene by regular washing of hands and tools.
He added that a member of the management of each concessionaire, who is fully kitted and stationed at an entrance, should also ensure the use of handheld thermometer on individuals coming into the abattoir and the mandatory use of hand sanitizers.
The commissioner stressed that the need for crowd control during the slaughtering process where a maximum of four persons per cow should be adhered to on the slab.
Lawal reiterated that the state government would not condone any illegal conveyance of meat and meat products from any of the abattoir and slaughterhouses to the markets, declaring that the use of Eko refrigerated meat van is the only recognized means of meat and meat products.
He noted that butchers should discourage their customers from touching meat or meat products but rather customers were to point at whatever they wanted and butchers with gloved hands should sell the meat.
“The era of several customers touching meat or meat products on display is over as the Lagos meat reforms are poised to ensure only wholesome meat is sold to the populace and also promote food safety,” Lawal said.
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