Medically unchecked meat being sold in citySeptember 21, 2014
KARACHI: “Medical check-up of thousands of animals is conducted by mere watching the behaviour of the animals, their physical appearances and at most by touching and patting them,” told Director Veterinary Department Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Ashfaq Ali, who is himself a vet.
While, this kind of check-up does not seem to be sufficient enough, it is also worth raising eyebrows that a large number of other animals go completely unchecked in Karachi in the wake of the fear of Congo virus, a deadly disease, that has taken lives in Pakistan. Even one of the biggest markets in the city, Empress Market, that has a large portion occupied by meat-sellers, is selling most of the meat that is not medically checked.
On the other hand, KMC laments over confronting shortage of veterinaries against the growing need of requirement for the check-up of a large number of animals in the city as Sindh government has stopped appointing doctors for the department since 2008.
Ashfaq Ali told PPI that at the moment KMC had only 6 doctors working in two slaughter houses to cater to the need of whole city.
“Two doctors have died this year and other two have been retired as yet. A request has been submitted to the Sindh government for appointments on the vacant seats,” he said.
The director said that there were two slaughter houses where KMC had to deal. The main slaughter house was in Landhi where around 1000 to 1200 big animals, such as bull, cow, and 350 to 400 small animals, such as sheep, goats, were slaughtered on daily basis, under the supervision of four vets. While, a total number of around 400 big and small animals were slaughtered in North Karachi slaughter house, which is relatively much smaller, under the supervision of two vets.
Answering a query, he told that operation against the meat sellers, who sold without getting the animals checked, was carried out by their teams regularly in order to save people from eating meat of harmful animals.
“When deputy commissioner, who possesses magisterial powers, of the relevant district accompanies our team, fine and punishment is announced then and there. In other situation, our team takes legal action against them and tries to confiscate the meat, if not intercepted by political parties or other influential people,” he said.
Ali said that KMC had no role in examining the sacrificial animals in cattle markets. It was the responsibility of the relevant district municipal corporations.
There are 10 vets arranged by district municipal corporation and cantonment Malir working in the largest cattle market of Asia set-up on Superhighway, Sohrab Goth.