The town of New Amsterdam has been without a municipal abattoir for more than two years putting consumers at risk of consuming unsafe meat.
Although a new facility was constructed in the town for slaughtering, it has never been used.
According to Municipal Health Inspector Ackloo Ramsudh, in 2016 the old abattoir was demolished because of structural failure and since then nothing tangible has been done to have a proper facility in place.
A new $19.1 million abattoir was commissioned in New Amsterdam but it has never been used. In fact, slaughtering continued at the old derelict building for ten years before the old building was torn down, the health inspector said.
The old abattoir was condemned years prior because conditions for slaughtering were not up to health standards and the new structure was built but because of non-usage it was vandalised.
In December 2016, Ramsudh had stated that additional works were required for the entrance and access ramps for the animals – the latter of which is too steep and is without rails.
Back then, he had stated that because of the design of the ramp, persons can easily sustain injuries from the animals.
In addition, he said although the animals may be tame, whenever they enter the environment they react aggressively, and proper restraining measures must be put in place.
Further, it was expected that the then old slaughterhouse would not be condemned but used as a holding pen and there would be a connection to the two buildings via the ramp, making it easier for the animals to be slaughtered.
Prior to its construction, butchers complained of the leaky roof, broken external walls as well as the absence of water and electricity but they continued to use it after the new facility was constructed.
Now the NA Council is seeking to construct a new abattoir even as the $19 million facility sits there vandalised.
“We have identified a number of sites; one being at Lot 56, Stanleytown, and the other being at ‘Old Smoky’ at Lot 31 Stanleytown,” the health inspector explained while adding that the meat sold in the municipal market is safe and butchers are allowed to slaughter in their backyards.
“We have authorised butchers to utilise the faculties at their homes. Meat is also being inspected at supermarkets. The procedures involving the other regulatory agencies are still in place and so we can safely say that the meat coming in to the market is safe for human consumption.”
According to butchers, they are required to have the animals inspected by a health officer and blood samples are taken two days prior to slaughtering.