On the anvil

With complaints increasing about unhygienic meat products being sold, the news that four ‘model’ slaughterhouses are under construction and three more are in the pipeline should come across as refreshing. The government has gone ahead by enlisting community participation under the Community Animal Development Project and in cooperation with the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. ‘Model’ meat shops are also to be opened. However, every butcher’s outlet must be made hygienically safe.

Slaughterhouses are expected, first of all, to comply with the standards of quality as legally stipulated. Besides, they will also make government supervision of the meat business easier and more effective. Indeed, there is an Act ten years old that regulates meat quality. However, because of its poor implementation, consumers are often hardly certain of the quality of the product they are buying. A few weeks ago, several unscrupulous people were held for selling dead goats cheaply, particularly those killed after being subjected to medical experimentation. Consumers have had to fend for themselves, as they run the risk of being fobbed off with the meat of dead animals, meat of undesired animals, meat of diseased or too-old animals, not to speak of stale and risk-carrying meat. Public health is much too important to have been neglected as they have so far. Sound oversight and tough action will always be needed.