Despite health implications, FCT butchers still use tyres to process animals | Dailytrust

Despite health implications, FCT butchers still use tyres to process animals

A butcher at work in one of the abattoirs in the FCT
A butcher at work in one of the abattoirs in the FCT

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory are expressing concerns over the attitude of butchers in the territory who are still roasting animals with tyres.

Aso Chronicle visited some of the abattoirs and found out that roasting slaughtered animals with tyres is still a common practice.

A medical doctor, Wasiu Itunu, had warned that such practices had great effects on the health of the consumers.

He said there is a risk of deposition of heavy metals in the hides of these animals which, apart from compromising the quality of the meat, are also known to be bioaccumulative with different effects on various organs of the body.

 The doctor said smoke from burning tyres released into the environment contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that reduce air quality.

Soot from the tyres burnt to singe hides is often washed into drains which contaminates water bodies and soil, and subsequently gets into the food chain. 

 The butchers and people who live and work in environments close to abattoirs can inhale the VOCs, particulate matter and PAHs.

 Aso Chronicle visited the Bwari main Abattoir along the Bwari-Jere road last Friday where butchers were seen roasting cows and goats with motor tyres.

Thick smokes were gushing out from the abattoir as one of our reporters approached.

One of the butchers who spoke to our reporter said the butchers had no option but to use tyres as no modern roasting equipment was provided by the relevant authorities and that they can no longer afford the cost of firewood.

“One thing that is certain is that we wash the meat very well after roasting it with tyres.

“Forget about those saying it is dangerous to health; even the medical workers are buying the same meat from us, so what are we talking about,’’ he said.

A resident of Bwari, Alhaja Idayat Musiliu, who was seen buying the meat at the abattoir, said consumers had no option but to embrace what is available.

“It is not as if we don’t know the health implications. But what do we do?’’ she asked.

 At the Kwali abattoir, City News observed that some butchers were roasting goats with motorcycle tyres.

 Another butcher was also seen roasting cow heads and legs using the same method.

 Our reporter also observed as the butchers slaughtered cows on the floor within the abattoir premises.

Mrs Rebecca Ayuba, who operates a restaurant at a motor park in Kwali, said she always buys cow heads and tails from the butchers, adding that she always engages someone to wash them clean before cooking for her customers. 

“What I do is that even after they wash the cow head, I will still engage another person to wash very well and I will still wash it again after cutting, and cook it very well before selling to customers,” she said.

 The chairman of Kwali Butchers Association, Yusuf Sani, said his men use tyres to roast cows and goats in order for the meat to look neat and clean.

“We always ensure that the cow and goats are washed thoroughly after using tyres, such that you can’t perceive any odour,” he said. 

Also at Abattoir in Gwagwalada, a similar method was being used in roasting cow heads and goats, as some butchers were seen using car tyres. A butcher, identified as Salihu Bala, said he mostly uses tyres to roast cow heads and goats because of the scarcity of firewood.

 He added that using tyres to roast cow heads and goats was easier as it removes hairs better, making it smoother and cleaner.

 “What I do after using tyres to roast cow and goats, I make sure I use enough detergent with plenty of water to wash them clean, such that you will not perceive any odour,” he said.

 A customer, Ibrahim Aliyu, who came to buy a cow head at the abattoir, said though the use of tyres to roast animals has health implications, using the tyres to remove the hairs makes the meat look clean.

Aso Chronicle also visited Anagada cattle market located along Zuba-Abuja-Lokoja, where it was observed that butchers mostly used tyres to roast slaughtered goats.

Some butchers were seen setting fire on tyres after pouring a little content of petrol, while customers stood by the side waiting to convey the goats on motorcycles to their selling locations.

A goat meat seller, Alfred Ifeanyi, who said he normally comes from Kubwa to buy between 10 and 12 roasted goats on a daily basis, added that he was against the use of tyres to roast goats, but he later accepted that after he discovered that you hardly find hairs on the body of the goat roasted with tyres.

Speaking, the chairman of Anagada cattle market, Abdullahi Yahaya, said they were quite aware of the risk involved in the use of tyres to roast goats, adding that the butchers decided to use tyres because of constant complaints from customers that hairs are always found on the body parts of the goat.

 

 The practice has to stop – FCTA

Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, the Secretary of Federal Capital Territory Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat has directed veterinary officials to scale up surveillance to check unwholesome and unhygienic practices in the abattoir.

He said a situation of using tyres to roast animals would no longer be accepted.

Ibrahim said this when he visited Karu Abattoir in continuation of his familiarisation tour of projects under the secretariat.

He reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to the provision of quality infrastructure in the various abattoirs of the territory.

Ibrahim said Abuja was the face of Nigeria, noting that it was imperative for the secretariat to maintain good standards in the abattoirs.

“Whatever we are doing; whether it is services or infrastructure, it should be at par with international standards.

“It is, therefore, imperative for the veterinary health officials to increase their surveillance to ensure that butchers do not use tyres to process meat because of the health and environmental risks associated with it.”

The secretary directed the Department of Veterinary Services to convene an urgent meeting with contractors to address issues to fast track the completion of abandoned projects.

Also speaking, the FCT Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Regina Adulugba, said the department was working towards the installation of the gas blowers, which proved to be the best and safest alternative to the use of tyres.

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