At Central, agents escape with consignment, as procedural hassles delay raid by Corporation

The Chennai Corporation on Wednesday conducted raids on trains coming from Andhra Pradesh and seized 2,130 kg of rotten meat smuggled into the city for sale. The unhygienic meat from rotting carcasses was seized from parcels transported in Circar Express from Kakinada to Egmore. “The meat was not found to be certified by a veterinary surgeon of an authorised slaughterhouse,” said an official of the Chennai Corporation.

A team of Corporation officials, with the support of railway officials, conducted the raids. However, the Railway Protection Force denied permission to another team of officials that tried to raid the Central Railway Station. This caused a delay in civic body officials reaching the Central railway station platform where a large quantity of such unhygienic products was being smuggled.

Thus, the labourers associated with the illegal trade escaped with the meat products through alternative routes and officials were unable to seize any of the rotten meat from Chennai Central. The civic body officials got permission to conduct raids in trains from senior railway officials after a few hours but were not able to trace any of the workers. Chennai Central is the hub of this illegal meat sale.

The samples of the meat products were sent to laboratory of the Meats Department of the Government Veterinary College for assessment of the microbial count. The results will be ready on Thursday, said an official.

The Chennai Corporation is planning to intensify the raids in the coming days and has obtained permission to conduct raids in trains for a week initially.

The rotten meat was destroyed at the Kodungaiyur Dumpyard by the corporation officials. Steps are being taken to identify the traders associated with the collection of carcasses in Nellore, Vijayawada and Kakinada for transportation in trains to the city.

Chennai Corporation’s health department officials have been asked to focus on anti-mortem and post-mortem inspection of animals butchered in the slaughter houses in Villivakkkam, Saidapet and Perambur. The shortage of staff for such operations too is likely to be addressed soon.

As many as 1,650 heads of cattle are slaughtered on a daily basis in the city under the supervision of veterinary surgeons of Chennai Corporation. They stamp the meat found fit for consumption. In weekend and festivals, the number of cattle slaughtered crosses 5000 in the city.

The supply points of the meat in temporary structures along the Cooum have also been traced. Some structures are located on Greams Road near Mackay’s Garden, near the offices of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. The low price of the unhygienic meat is a major reason for its popularity.

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