The Corporation does not have the required number of veterinary officers
Next time you buy meat, please try looking for the seal certifying it to be safe.
The chances are that you may not find any. This may be because the meat stall owner has not have slaughtered the animal at the Coimbatore Corporation’s abattoir or because there was no veterinary officer to certify the meat.
According to sources, the Corporation does not have the required number of veterinary officers to ensure that only healthy, adult animals are slaughtered. Nor does it have the necessary number of slaughter houses.
To put things in perspective, the Corporation needs nine veterinarians to monitor the slaughter houses and stalls because the number of animals slaughtered is high - around 38,000 cows and around 1,50,000 goats every year.
Each veterinarian is permitted to certify not more than 96 animals a day. But there are none.
The Corporation was asked way back in 2011 to appoint at least on contract basis nine veterinary doctors and a veterinary officer to supervise the doctors to ensure that the meat available to the city’s residents were safe. But the civic body has not yet responded to the demand.
As for the number of abattoirs, the Corporation needs nine. It has five on paper with only two functioning in reality.
The two that function are the ones on Sathyamangalam Road and in Ukkadam. The former is for slaughtering cows and the latter for goats.
The three that do not function are in Singanallur, Sowripalayam and Podanur.
The absence of sufficient number of veterinary officers and abattoirs means that there is laxity in implementation of rules.
As a consequence, the city’s residents are not able to ascertain the quality of the meat they are buying, the sources say.
As for pork, everything sold in the city is uncertified because there is no abattoir for slaughtering pigs - the Corporation has none. But rules clearly specify what the Corporation should do in slaughter houses and what the meat stall owners should do.
Sources in the Corporation say that the civic body would have to first write to the State Government to seek creation of veterinary officers’ post. Only then it could appoint persons to those posts.
There was consultations going on with the office of the Commissioner for Municipal Administration in this regard and soon a decision would be taken.