Remove abattoirs from towns

As part of its larger city normalisation programme, KCCA should evict all abattoirs from the city. The same should apply to other towns across Uganda. The meat industry in Uganda needs a total overhaul. Production (namely slaughtering and packaging) should be done in the animal producing areas. The current practice of ferrying animals in trucks is not only cruel to animals, but equally dangerous to human health.
My veterinary doctor friend tells me what we eat is not meat but stale muscles, poisoned by the hormones of fear released as the animals undergo torture, right from the markets upcountry. Packed in lorries, the trauma and physical suffering continues on the road up to the abattoirs where each animal witnesses other animals slaughtered as it awaits its turn. By the time the animal is slaughtered, the entire body is poisoned. The meat is further contaminated by the post-slaughter mishandling and the exposure to the elements in the markets.
Technology exists to modernise the livestock industry and it’s high time we embraced it. And this begins at policy level. It’s time to initiate legislation to revive Uganda Meat Industries Limited (UMIL), which will champion the modernisation of the meat industry. Working with local governments and interested private investors, UMIL will establish modern abattoirs in the animal producing areas, so that animals are slaughtered where they are reared. In the cities, UMIL will build and franchise purpose-built, modern meat kiosks to authorised retailers. These will operate under the supervision of UMIL, and inspection by KCCA, and Food and Drug Authority.
With simple but effective technologies like vacuum-packaging and tinning, this initiative will have several multiplier effects along the industry’s value chain:
•Creation of related industries organic fertiliser plants from the animal alimentary residues button and ornament factories, using cow horns. One village in China killed poverty through this industry, and today it produces one-third of the world’s garment buttons saving Ugandans the consumption of poisoned and contaminated muscles in the name of meat skills and innovation for students and researchers in the food science and technology discipline, etc.
This is how jobs are created. This is how relevant skills are stimulated. This is how self-sustaining economies are established. This is how rural transformation is catalysed. The billions wasted in ‘wealth-creation’ programmes are better invested in such structured ventures as Uganda Meat Industries. The new policy to revisit privatisation should entail active state participation in key sectors of the economy such as the livestock industry.
Matsiko Kahunga,
bukanga@yahoo.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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