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16.02.2006 General News

Doctor calls for national policy on slaughtered meat

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Sunyani, Feb. 16, GNA - A senior medical officer in-charge of public health at the Regional Hospital in Sunyani on Wednesday, called for a national policy that would ensure post mortem examination of all slaughtered animals before being sold for consumption.

Dr. George Bonsu said such examination would help reduce the rate of diseases such as anthrax, diarrhoea, bird influenza, hookworm and other related food diseases in the meat industry.

He was addressing about 70 environmental health officers and butchers drawn from the districts in the region at the opening of a two-day workshop in Sunyani.

The workshop was organised by the Food and Drugs Board (FBD). Dr Bonsu decried the dilapidated structures, bad sanitation as well as poor drainage at some abattoirs and condemned the practice by some butchers to slaughter weak and sick animals. On bird influenza, the senior medical officer said available statistics indicated that the world recorded 166 cases of the disease, with Vietnam recording the highest figure of 88 cases. He said Indonesia recorded 23, Thailand 22, Turkey 12, China 11, Cambodia four and Iraq one case.

Dr. Bonsu urged consumers to purchase the commodity from recognized meat shops to ensure their well-being. Dr. Musheibu Mohammed-Alfa, Head of Food Inspectorate Department of

FDB stressed the need to ensure the highest standard of safety efficacy and quality for all foods and drugs to curb the dissipation of its nutritive properties from climate and other environmental hazards. He warned the butchers against slaughtering animals at unauthorized and filthy places and said plans were under way to close down such facilities.

Dr. Mohammed-Alfa expressed concern about butchers, who lacked knowledge about some basic meat handling policies, which he said had resulted in the outbreak of some diseases. Mr Joseph Yaw-Bernie Bennie, Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regional Zonal Officer of FDB stressed the need to educate the participants to ensure sanity in the meat industry.

He implored the participants to impart the knowledge they would acquire at the workshop to help bring positive changes in their districts.