Meat stall owners often dump waste in public places

The district lacks a proper treatment system to dispose of over 20 tonnes of slaughterhouse waste produced at the 138 slaughterhouses and 40 meat shops every day. As per the data available with the Animal Husbandry Department, 20,000 birds and 160 animals are slaughtered in the district each day.

With just one dysfunctional waste treatment plant owned by the Kozhikode Corporation at Njeliyanparamba in the city, animal waste disposal is now left to the mercy of butchers and private entities who, in turn, fill the waste in plastic covers or sacks and dump across residential areas and public places.

‘A challenge’

In a recent meeting chaired by District Collector C.A. Latha, the Animal Husbandry Department officials said that disposing of slaughterhouse waste without causing health and environmental concerns had become a challenge.

The city does not have a government-run abattoir with proper infrastructure, waste disposal mechanism and facilities for ante-mortem and post-mortem checks of animals. It has been a decade since the Corporation’s Kothi abattoir, started in the 1940s, unceremoniously shut shop following protests against the indiscriminate disposal of animal waste in the area.

Most shopkeepers use the early morning hours for slaughter, using the limited space between the footpath and their shop fronts. This is when a government order (GO) issued on November 19, 2013 directed local bodies across the State to observe hygiene and compassion at slaughterhouses as per Section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The section mandated that slaughter could be done only on the premises of abattoirs and every such facility should provide a separate space for stunning of animals prior to slaughter, bleeding, and dressing of the carcass.

Stunning method

The department has instructed local bodies to ensure that ‘repeated hammering’ to stun the animal before slaughter be discontinued immediately. It threatened penal action against violators. The GO wanted abattoirs to switch to the ‘captive bolt pistol method’ to stun animals in abattoirs within the next 6 months. Another GO on November 16, 2013 has called for multi-pronged reforms. It pointed to how ‘most of the slaughtering activities in Kerala is going on without following the statutory provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules of 2001, Bureau of Indian Standards guidelines, pollution control legislations, meat production industry norms, and so on.’

This GO had advocated ‘engagement with butchers’ for capacity building and improvement of their facilities as per standards. It called for enhancing the abilities of the Animal Husbandry Department, local bodies, Food Safety Commissioner, and the Sales Tax Department for better quality checks. The November 16 GO had also directed the establishment of new, modern abattoirs.

Meanwhile, the Animal Husbandry Department has now proposed setting up of waste treatment plants at the block levels with the financial help of grama panchayats.

List sought

Meanwhile, the district administration has sought a detailed list of slaughterhouses and meat shops in the district.

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