Representatives of the Guyana Livestock Development Agency (GLDA) are expected to meet with officials of the Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Berbice) Health Committee to discuss a proposal for the construction of an abattoir in the Region, Chairman of the Region’s Health Committee, Councillor Dr Gregory Harris, revealed.
This comes on the heels of several complaints made by Councillors and officials of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) over alleged unsanitary practices regarding the handling of commercial meat in the Linden community. Dr Harris disclosed that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GLDA has since made contact with the Regional Health Committee regarding the proposal.
“They’re supposed to be at our next Regional Health Committee meeting – to do a
proposal for us, so we can establish an abattoir; and that proposal will come to the Region. We’ve had a discussion already with the health workers at the Town Council along with our health workers, and we’re trying to monitor, but what they said is we need a spot. So, they’re doing a proposal for us”, he explained.
Dr Harris had previously stated that a recommendation was made sometime last year to set up a monitoring unit along the Linden /Soesdyke Highway. He said he had proposed for a system to be implemented whereby meat coming in to the Region could be monitored. Nevertheless, he said an Environmental officer would usually carry out sanitary checks at various butchers’ shops in the Linden community.
During the last statutory meeting of the RDC, Councillor Gordon Callender had questioned whether the Regional Health Department was functioning, and whether it was moving around the Region to monitor what was happening. Callender was one of the councillors who had brought the issue of unsanitary practices by meat vendors to the fore, an issue which he had emphasised needed to be urgently addressed. “It’s the same thing occurring over and over, and it’s time we put a stop to it”, he said.
Councillor Tracy Johnson had also called for the monitoring of butchers’ shops in the community, but Regional Chairman Renis Morian had indicated that issues of public health, as they relate to sanitary practices, are the responsibility of the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LM&TC), to whom he would write.
Morian said it is necessary for public health workers to do their work. He pointed out that, years ago, tuberculosis was detected on meat at Linden after an alarm was raised.