The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources Mrs. Cecilia Abena-Dapaah at the behest of President Nana Addo is waging a serious war against unwholesome meats on the market.
In addition, the sector minister is not going to condone with the unhygienic conditions at butcher houses across all the regions in Ghana.
She said, this is aimed at ensuring that all slaughtered animals obtain the mandatory veterinary stamp to guarantee its safety.
Speaking during a tour of the Mallam Atta market in Accra New Town, Madam Cecila Abena-Dapaah said his outfit together the anti-agencies will embark on a strict market surveillance to rid-off animal products that have not obtained the approval of the veterinary services.
According to her, she will not take it likely at all with the rampant litering at market centres and the ugly heap of garbages at the heart of the markets exposing both human and food staffs to severe danger.
This comes after a market report carried by the National Security to President Nana Addo to institute measures to help curb the unhygienic situation at the butcher houses and abattoirs in the country.
The Head of Public Health and Food Safety at Veterinary Services, Dr. Bashiru Boikikimoto noted that slaughtered animal products or meats found on the market without the approved veterinary stamp will be confiscated and destroyed.
He explained that those without the approved stamp conspicuously failed to pass the veterinary food safety test and therefore should be declared unwholesome.
Dr. Bashiru advised members of the public to as a matter of urgency report offenders to the Environmental Health department at the Assembly for action to be taken.
“Anybody who goes to buy meat without the veterinary stamp should stay off because it means the animal was slaughtered at an illegal place. So we are going round with the Minister to ensure that slaughtered animals without veterinary stamp are confiscated and destroyed. We are now serious. We are seeing that the butchers are doing so many things and people are dying for their negligence. This information has gotten to President Nana Addo and he is not happy that meats are becoming unwholesome. So from today, we want those sellers and buyers to ask for the veterinary stamp and without it, they should not be allowed to stay,” he stated.
According to him, this will also help to increase the revenue mobilization effort of the government by ensuring that butchers pay the approved fees and charges in accordance with the Fees and Charges Instrument, 2014 (L.I. 2216).
“Some deliberately invade tax by slaughtering the animals at unapproved places even behind toilets which are injurious to human health. Parliament passed L.I. 2216 in 2014 which established the miscellaneous fees and charges for animals that are slaughtered. During the Christmas period, I set out market surveillance in several parts of Accra including Tema. There is also a report from National Security to the President about the unhygienic conditions at slaughter houses. All these prompted the need to enforce the law,” he emphasized.
He added that failure to comply with the proper meat inspection in Ghana is punishable by law not less than three months imprisonment or penalty unit of 1200 in accordance with the Public Health Act 2012, (Act 851).
Dr. Bashiru stressed that they will embark on a visit to all the 334 slaughterhouses in Ghana, 4 abattoirs (two in Accra, One in Ho and another in Kumasi) to examine the hygienic conduction under which those animals are being slaughtered and prepared for the market.
He assured its outfit will deepen collaboration with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), Environmental Health agency, the sector ministry and all the anti-agencies to clampdown on meats without veterinary stamp.
Dr. Bashiru urged the media to help the President’s agenda of flushing out unwholesome meat from the markets by constantly keeping the public informed.