ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Processing of meat at the government abattoir resumes today as the Ministry of Public Works has delivered the fuel requested by the facility.
Minister of Agriculture Hilson Baptiste said the diesel the body needed to carry out its functions was handed over yesterday and arrangements are now in place for the requisite quantities to be supplied fortnightly.
“We are working on that right now and they got the fuel they wanted so things would be back to normal,” the minister said. “They should be back to normal with things at the abattoir.”
A week ago, general manager of the abattoir Charlesworth Grant halted slaughtering and processing of animals for commercial purposes due to a shortage of fuel.
According to Grant, the body usually received 250 gallons of diesel but in recent weeks, the ministry reduced the amount to 150 gallons.
Baptiste expressed dissatisfaction with the occurrence and said had he been on island, the situation would have been avoided.
Following the abattoir’s decision to stop animal slaughter, the Central Board of Health (CBH) received one complaint about the illegal slaughter of a cow and sale of its meat on Sunday, and an investigation has been launched.
Chief Health Inspector Lionel Michael made the disclosure of the probe after the media provided CBH with photographs of the illegal kill.
Yesterday Michael said he is certain the people who slaughter animals are aware of the required inspection standards.
He urged those individuals to contact the government appointed inspectors to visit their farms to inspect the animal ante-mortem and post-mortem before the meat is sold.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)