Directives to enforce Meat Inspection Act

Kathmandu, June 7:

The Veterinary Public Health Office (VPHO) under the Animal Health Directorate has prepared the Slaughterhouse and Meat Inspection Technical Directives 2007 to ensure the effective implementation of the Slaughterhouse and Meat Inspection Act 2055 BS.

“The Act had not been implemented due to the absence of directives. The new directives will give the local bodies the authority to implement the Act,” says Dr Bodh Prasad Parajuli, chief of the VPHO, who drafted the directives.

According to Parajuli, the directives will come into effect as soon as the Department of Livestock Services approves of it.“The directives will be published and distributed to all authorities concerned, including the local bodies, within mid-June.”

Following a Supreme Court order, the DLS had been inquiring the VPHO about the progress made in drafting the directives. A four-member sub-committee headed by Dr Baikuntha Parajuli prepared the directives after holding consultations with experts.

Due to the non-implementation of the Act, people have been forced to eat unhygienic meat and meat products.

Many studies, warning about risks associated with consumption of meat being sold in marketplaces, have recommended the government to enforce the Act at the earliest.

Parajuli, who has visited various municipalities to study their condition, says the Act can be enforced as soon as places for slaughtering animals are managed.

According to him, municipalities, including Palpa, Baglung, Butwal, Biratnagar, Pokhara and Dhangadi are ready to manage places for slaughtering animals.

Construction of slaughterhouses is not the priority of municipalities, he says, adding that the centre should direct them to manage places for slaughtering animals. “People should also put pressure on local bodies to manage places for slaughtering animals.”

The Act forbids killing of animals without their health check-up by a meat inspector.

“Meat should be sold only after tagging,” the Act says, adding, “Animals should not be killed and transported in an inhumane manner.”

Parajuli said the enforcement of the Act will help keep the environment clean. “People can buy hygienic meat and meat products without hesitation,” he says, adding many veterinary doctors will get jobs once the Act is enforced.