(Antigua Observer) One man has been charged with illegal slaughtering of goats, while the authorities are cautioning that the health and lives of residents could be at risk if people consume any of the goat or sheep meat from the animals slaughtered in unsanitary conditions recently discovered at Perry Bay.
The accused has been identified as Abba Gordon of Green Bay Hill. It is alleged the 21-year-old committed the offences on August 23 at Keeling Point.
The police confirmed last night that the specific charge for which Gordon will face the court is “unlawful killing of five cattle, to wit, five goats.”
Gordon was detained last Thursday when the police intercepted him and two other men running from Perry Bay and they allegedly had meat in their possession.
While the other two men managed to run away, Gordon was not quick enough for the cops who were in the area that night based on a tip off.
The following day when investigators returned, they unearthed approximately 100 carcasses, with and without heads, of goats and sheep at varying stages of decomposition.
Meanwhile, hours before Gordon was charged yesterday, the Chief Veterinary Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Tubal Edwards, cautioned the public that the animals, at the time they were killed, may have been on medication considered harmful to humans.
He advised, “Once you do not see an official government stamp on any part of the meat, do not consume it, I am begging you, it could be your life, some of these animals may have been treated for parasites and other diseases.”
The stamp to which he refers is purple in appearance.
His warning comes as investigations continue into the discovery of an illegal slaughtering site in the Perry Bay area where about 100 heads and carcasses of goat and sheep were found on Friday after the arrest of the man caught in the area the night before.
The official said the discovery is a very serious matter that should be of grave concern to people thus they ought to inspect meat whenever they are making a purchase.
“People need to buy from the abattoir which is located in the Public Market or supermarkets. Once the meat is slaughtered at the abattoir, the government would have done the necessary checks to ensure that it is fit for consumption,” Dr. Edwards said.
Meanwhile, the head of the National Livestock Association, Emanuel Peters, said that the association is still working along with livestock farmers to identify the remains and other items that were found in the area which appears to have been operational for some time given the varying stages of decomposition of the remains.
Peters said that so far, some livestock owners have identified body parts of animals that had to have been slaughtered mere days before the police discovered the site.
He said that the association is in the process of circulating images to various livestock farmers’ groups, as well as conducting interviews with owners who had reported their animals missing.