Slaughterhouse Act gathers dust; public health at risk

Kathmandu, March 28:

People are forced to consume unhygienic meat and meat products because of the non-implementation of the Slaughterhouse and Meat Inspection Act 2055, speakers at a programme said today.

Addressing a programme organised here today by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Minister for Local Development Ram Chandra Jha said he would take initiatives to implement the Act throughout the country soon. He also said he would also discuss the issue with authorities concerned soon.

“Government employees have their own limitation while performing duties assigned to them. The Act couldn’t be implemented because of the lack of human resources at the local level offices,” Jha said, adding, “I will soon interact with representatives of different political parties to ensure its implementation.” He also pledged financial support and more strength to upgrade the facilities at slaughterhouses that were built years ago.

“Many people had criticised the plan to introduce European-standard meat Act a decade ago, as they assumed that it would be difficult to implement it here,” said Narayan Gopal Malego, executive officer at the KMC, adding that the assumptions were true, as the Act could not be effectively implemented. He also said the consumers should be aware of the quality of meat that they consume. Malego also informed that the KMC was building a model slaughterhouse at Hyumat under the concept of public-private-partnership.

“Slaughterhouses in Hetauda, Thankot and Kakani are in shambles due to ineffective management,” Dr Baburam Gautam, chief of the public health department, KMC, said. He also said the civic body had been facing challenges in assuring the quality of meat and meat products for the Valley folks. “Political commitment is a must for the practical implementation of any thing,” Dr Gautam said, adding there is an urgent need of such commitments to implement the Act.

Senior veterinary doctor Bodh Prasad Parajuli said the implementation of the Act was essential to provide hygienic meat to consumers. “Traditional way of selling meat could be one of the reasons behind the non-implementation of the Act,” he said, adding that there were no adequate slaughterhouses in the country.