Lagos set to ban slaughtering of animals at homes

The Lagos State House of Assembly is set to pass a bill that will prohibit persons from killing any animal meant for consumption in their private homes or in any other place that is not approved by the state government for such purposes.
The bill seeking to make a law to that effect was presented to members of the Lagos public yesterday at a public hearing held at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium of the state Assembly.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting on the bill titled, ‘A Bill for A Law to Provide for the establishment of Lagos State Meat Regulatory Authority and for Connected Purposes’, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Co-operatives, Gbolahan Lawal said that the meat industry has a lot of potentials.
He stated further that the law would make it mandatory for all meat to be slaughtered at approved abattoirs, adding that the Agriculture Commissioner may make a statement during festive periods to allow people slaughter animals in their homes.
However, Section 21 (1) of the bill stated that, “It shall be unlawful for anyone to slaughter any animal which is intended for human consumption or dress the carcass of such animal in any place other than in an approved abattoir.”
While sub section (4) of section 21 also states that, “Any person who contravenes any provisions of this law shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of N500,000 or six months imprisonment on conviction.”
The Commissioner added that the Bill would enhance the productivity of butchers and animal merchants, and that the veterinary department of the Ministry of Agriculture has been overstretched and that it is better to have a regulatory department that would be concerned about meat production solely.
“There are still other jobs that the veterinary department would do. The industry is large in a state that slaughters about 5,000 herds of cattle every day except on Sundays. So, the agency would just focus on red meat industry.
However, reacting to concerns of members of the public, especially the Muslim community on whether the bill will not pose a challenge to their religious injunction, the commissioner said, “A lot of people travel abroad and see how they do it there. It is just a Bill, so it is left for the House of Assembly to decide on what to do next,” he said.
The Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Co-operatives and Rural Development, Olanrewaju Ibrahim Layode noted that the Bill would cater for the production of quality meat for consumption.
“We will give certificates for all animals that would be slaughtered. We will control all our borders and our veterinary doctors are expected to control all the animals that come into the state,” he said.
Layode said that illegal abattoirs are scattered all over the state, but that efforts would be made to standardize and approve some of them so that they would start processing healthy animals for human consumption.
The lawmaker added that a task force that would ensure standard in the sector would be set-up, while assuring the stakeholders that all their fears would be addressed in the proposed law.


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