ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Health officials are cautioning residents about buying illegally slaughtered meat, even as they mount a probe into the killing of cattle which occurred over the weekend.
Photographic images of a cow being slaughtered and skinned in someone’s backyard made the rounds on Blackberry Messenger (BBM) on Saturday and Chief Health Inspector Lionel Michael said the Central Board of Health (CBH) did not sanction the killing.
Last week, General Manager of the Abattoir Charlesworth Grant said the government facility had stopped accepting animals for killing, as it had no fuel to fire the boilers to process the animals.
Speaking of the illegal killings, Michael yesterday said, “It is horrible and it is dangerous. We are looking into the matter of the report of individuals slaughtering indiscriminately and irresponsibly without consideration for public health and safety.”
Michael, who was informed by the media of the occurrence, said it is necessary to inspect animals before and after they are killed to avoid the spread of Zoonotic diseases (diseases spread from animals to humans).
While he did not disclose the information the Central Board of Health has gathered since learning of the illegal slaughter, Michael said residents need to look out for un-inspected meat.
The official said safe meats usually carry a stamp and since it isn’t placed on all parts of the animal, residents should purchase the commodity from reputable butchers or supermarkets.
OBSERVER Media has since been informed the meat reportedly made its way to consumers in the Point area yesterday morning.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)