Lambs to a safer slaughter in the capital
A sheep that plunged from the top of a five-storey building in the capital as it tried to escape the clutches of a dodgy butcher was just one of the 1,291,298animals slaughtered in Abu Dhabi last year
The sheep fell onto a car and the Asian butcher, who had been hired by the animal’s owner to kill it, raced down from the roof and finished slitting the animal’s throat on top of the vehicle.
Bad butchers like this are now the target for an Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) crackdown.
Earlier this month the authority announced it was intensifying awareness drives at slaughter-houses and working with Abu Dhabi Municipality to curb illegal slaughter practices.
ADFCA has stressed the importance of slaughtering animals in designated abattoirs to enable pre-slaughter medical check-ups for cattle, ensuring people are provided with hygienic meat.
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, director of communication and community service at ADFCA, told Insider that killings conducted outside slaughterhouses could result in diseases being transmitted to humans and environmental pollution.
“We have inspectors monitoring activities in different areas to crack down on people slaughtering animals in their homes,” said Al Reyaysa, adding that those caught doing so are referred to municipal officials and can face legal action - just like the Asian butcher, who was charged with violating municipal hygiene laws.
Al Reyaysa said inspectors have been placed at slaughterhouses in the capital to ensure employees adhere to food safety and hygiene laws, such as wearing protective clothing, hair nets and gloves to stop contamination between workers and the meat.
“There are also a number of precautionary measures and mandatory procedures that workers must adhere to during the different stages of slaughter, meat preservation, and delivery,” said Al Reyaysa. He added that the right ways of sterilisation, freezing and cutting the meat are essential to ensuring safety.
He said the amount of locally produced livestock has increased over the years, which is good for Abu Dhabi.
To ensure that meat is disease free, veterinarians visit abattoirs to examine animals before and after they are killed to ensure they are fit for human consumption.
“We observe these livestock right from birth and ensure they are vaccinated and have good feeding,” added Al Reyaysa. “I believe the meat from locally produced animals is safer and fresher than imported produce.”
As part of its crackdown, ADFCA has campaigns to educate workers on health and safety standards. Al Reyaysa said veterinarians visiting the abattoirs aim to teach workers the importance of washing their hands, drying their hands properly, the right methods of sterilising slaughter tools and undertaking environmentally-friendly cleaning practices. He said the authority also plans to conduct seminars and conferences to raise awareness further.
ADFCA is gearing up for its annual microbiological field survey in which the infrastructure of slaughterhouses and poultry farms will be assessed to ensure they are complying with rules and regulations.
Hygiene conditions, cutting boards, workers hygiene and the surroundings of the abattoir will be examined to ensure the contamination of meat is prevented.
Capital capacity for killing correctly
There are 18 slaughterhouses for red meat in Abu Dhabi - including four in Abu Dhabi City, six in the Western Region and eight in Al Ain. Abu Dhabi also has six slaughterhouses for poultry and two for camels. The total number of animals slaughtered at Abu Dhabi abattoirs during 2011 was 1,291,298, which includes Al Ain and the Western Region.