Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tassie Thomas has expressed concerns regarding the slaughtering of animals during the Christmas season.
Thomas urges butchers and consumers to exercise quality control and have the animals professional certified prior to sale and consumption.
“For those slaughtering animals for Christmas, please ensure that you contact the Veterinary Officer from the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Let him have a look at the animal. Ante-mortem inspection is very beneficial not just to the consumer but to the butcher himself. What happens is, the Veterinary officer will be able to tell you what we, as health inspectors, might not be able to tell you.
“An inspector may not know whether an animal is pregnant. Slaughtering a pregnant animal is a great loss to the butcher. We prefer that you see a vet; the vet can tell you if the animal is pregnant or not.”
Thomas further advises that butchers meet the necessary requirements prior to slaughter.
“Ensure that the animal is brought to the slaughter area the day before,” she says. “That it is well-watered and it is well-rested. That again improves keeping quality of the meat. Don’t go dragging the animal a whole mile to a slaughter slab. That is very bad and the meat is going to appear very bad in quality. We do not want that to happen. For this reason, you make sure, if it is at your home you are slaughtering, the animal is brought to your home the day before.”