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Abattoirs butcher licence regulations

Patna, June 12: Meat shops have mushroomed all over the capital giving rise to a slew of questions like hygiene of the slaughterhouse and whether the meat is fit for intake.

While many meat-sellers do not have the requisite license to sell meat, authorised veterinary doctors rarely inspect others that are licenced. Besides, a majority of these slaughterhouses lack basic amenities like proper floors, wastewater discharge and blood-collection facilities.

The authorities also accept the lack of regulatory measures. “There are laws in place that state only those places which are licenced for selling meat can run and meat from animals which are certified by doctors can be sold. Presently, the situation is not satisfactory in Bihar as a large number of abattoirs are not licenced and the certification process for ensuring healthy meat is almost defunct. However, we are working on fresh licencing and certification systems,” said animal husbandry minister Giriraj Singh.

Environmental experts have also expressed concerns on prevailing practices in slaughterhouses.

“Illegal slaughtering at small shops which lack proper hygiene is a health hazard. Skinning is done on the floor or on wooden logs, which are rarely disinfected and can contaminate the meat. The hides, skins, bones, intestine, legs and other waste material are not removed immediately that leads to degeneration. Moreover, a majority of the meat shops dump the wastes in drains, clogging them. At most places, blood flows into drains causing pollution. The waste water generated from abattoirs is highly contaminated and should not be allowed to run into drains without being treated for sewage discharge,” said Ajay Upadhyay, resource person at the department of environment and water management, AN College.

“We dispose the leftover parts in the municipal garbage bins or in drains. The blood also flows into municipal drains. There has been no inspection by veterinary doctors or officials,” said a meat-seller of Raja Bazaar market area.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (slaughterhouse) Rules, 2001 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (slaughterhouse) Amendment Rules, 2010 give several guidelines for regulating slaughterhouses.

A rule that seems to be in rough waters is Rule IX of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (slaughterhouse) Amendment Rules, 2010 which states that the state animal welfare board or any other authorised individual may inspect any slaughterhouse without prior notice to ensure all rules are being complied with.

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