Kochi: With the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in many parts of the state and the authorities having put stricter screening measures in place, there is a considerable dip in the number of cattle being brought for slaughter.
Traders in the district say that there might be a scarcity of beef during Christmas when there is greater demand. The authorities are keeping a check on animals brought from other places at the entry points and local bodies in the district are also keeping vigil over slaughter units and meat outlets.
According to meat traders, city residents have become even more careful over the quality of meat after the seizure of unhygienic ‘tsunami’ meat from Palluruthy. “After the seizure, there has been a slight dip in the quantity of meat being sold through outlets.
Now, the scare over foot-and-mouth disease and regular raids by Corporation authorities will adversely affect sales,” said a meat trader. Despite the authorities' vigilance, illegal slaughterhouses and meat stalls are operating in many parts of the district where cattle are slaughtered without medical examinations.
Meanwhile, Corporation Health Standing Committee Chairman T.K. Ashraf said that no case of foot-and-mouth disease had been reported from the slaughterhouses functioning within the city limits.
“In view of the outbreak of the disease, the government asked the City Corporation to close down slaughterhouses. However, due to increased demand during Xmas, it is not feasible to do so. The Corporation's Health Department will conduct strict screening before slaughtering the cattle. Animals being brought from other places will be examined by a vet,” he said.
The city has only one abattoir at Kaloor that has a license from the Corporation. Another licensed slaughterhouse at Mattancherry has been non-functional for a few years and the proposal to modernise it at a cost of Rs 2 crore still remains on paper....