While the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is inviting applications from the meat shop owners to get 50% subsidy to upgrade the slaughter houses and increase the hygiene level, the majority of butchers working on roadside continue to mushroom under the nose of the civic body.
The butchers continue to slaughter animals in the open and that too near schools, hospitals, water bodies and religious places at various points in the city with tehbazaari team and health wing of the MC proving to be a complete failure in removing them.
Not only they slaughter animals in the open, there is no check on the disposal of biological waste. In clear violation of Slaughter House Rules 2001, they have failed to install any screen or black door to block the view for the general public.
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Such roadside slaughtering is going on unabated at various places such as near Christian Medical College and Hospital, Daba road, opposite Sacred Heart School, BRS Nagar, near Shingar cinema, Buddha Nullah, the most polluted water body, Pakhowal road and Shimlapuri. It not only violates the rules of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act but also poses a danger to the health of consumers.
Talking to Newsline, Dr Sandeep Jain, a co-opted member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, said, “Providing subsidies to meat shop owners is not going to help much because the majority of slaughter houses run illegally on roadsides. They are not only polluting water bodies as there is no check on disposal of biological waste but they are also violating the Slaughter House Rules, 2001 which clearly say that an animal cannot be killed in front of another animal.
Neither they possess any deep freezers or hygienic equipment. MC needs to conduct raids at such points and stop these roadside meat shops first.”
An official from the health department maintains that there is neither staff nor vehicles to conduct raids. “We started raiding a few months back and removed some fish sellers and butchers but there is constant interference of councillors and political leaders who accuse us of snatching their livelihoods. Also, we do not have staff or vehicles to conduct raids daily,” said the official.
Talking about the subsidy scheme for meat shop owners, Dr Y P Singh from MC health wing said, “Ministry of Food Processing Industries at the Centre is inviting applications in which a meat shop owner can avail 50% subsidy on expenses incurred on upgrading his shop as per norms. The maximum subsidy amount is Rs 5 lakh and applications for the same are acceptable till February 15 at MC headquarters.”
Singh said that “February 4 is the last date for meat sellers to get registered and get licences”. “For a meat shop owner having an annual sale of more than Rs 12 lakh per year, it is necessary to get a license while for small shops, they have to get registered only.”
On roadside butchers, he said, “We are trying to remove them but staff shortage is a major roadblock.”