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26.02.2007 General News

TMA to license butchers

By DAILYEXPRESS-Nii Kwaku Osabutey Anny

In response to public complaints and concerns expressed by the butchers association in the Tema municipality, the Environmental Health & Sanitation Department of the Municipal Assembly has decided to license all butchers operating in areas under its jurisdiction.

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Peter Amuzu told the dailyEXPRESS that the exercise which will commence in March is because the butchers association has been complaining that some unscrupulous persons have infiltrated their ranks, selling unwholesome meat to the public.

These acts they say, is destroying their business, but the Assembly is more concerned about public health and safety. Complaints were rife in the municipality last month about the sale of unwholesomeness meat at the Community 1 main market.

dailyEXPRESS enquiries revealed that a serious case of food poisoning suffered by a middle aged pregnant woman after consuming unwholesome meat bought from the market, fueled the concerns and complaints.

Mr. Amuzu says his outfit and the Assembly have met with the leadership of the butchers to find out the best approach in order to make the exercise effective. The butchers, he said, have welcomed the decision to license them.

According to the Health Officer, the butchers will first undergo medical examination and those certified to be medically fit and without any sickness issued with health certificates to resume their operations.

He stated further that his department will ensure proper monitoring of the activities of the butchers and those found to be operating without license arrested and prosecuted.

Asked about the unhygienic state of the place slaughtered animals are kept, and the disturbing & unhygienic environment at the Accra Abattoir, Mr. Amuzu said his office is in talks with some stakeholders in the municipality to renovate and improve the standards at the place.

He also revealed that the Environmental Health Department will soon resume the arrest of stray animals loitering in the municipality.

Mr. Amuzu explained that the exercise had to be suspended because logistics to carry out the exercise were in short supply.