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Concerns Raised over Food Safety

by 5m Editor
15 August 2011, at 9:48am

PAKISTAN - Concerns have been raised about the licensing of slaughterhouses in Karachi.

According to Pakistan Observer, the issuance of veterinary licences is the most crucial part of veterinary control on meat and poultry sales outlets but the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) Veterinary Department (VD) has out-sourced the licensing authority to a private contractor. The contract term is valid for a year.

The terms and conditions of the contract empower the private contractor to issue as many licences as he could do in a year for 500 rupees (PKR) per poultry/meat/beef shop. The out-sourcing has curtailed effective monitoring and chain of illegal slaughter houses has emerged in the city.

Assistant District Officer, Waheed Ansari, said that the out-sourcing the licensing powers to private contractor would improve performance of the CDGK VD. However, he failed to give details of the improvements.

The ADO said that amid present situation, the CDGK VD is unable to take action against the slaughterhouses operating illegally because of lack of police protection and lack of internal support.

He further said that as part of improvement policy, the CDGK VD Executive Director recently created a new internal set-up of the department under which five District Officers (DO), five ADOs and also one Inspector have been assigned duties of different nature. The strength is entirely insufficient to meet the standard of veterinary services in a city of 18 towns and huge population.

According to an officer in CDGK VD, the organisation does not have the required work-force and logistic support to curb the sub-standard meat especially of a few days' old buffalo calves being slaughtered in different illegal slaughterhouses that have been established in different parts of the city. Pakistan Observer reports that the low socio-economic areas of the city, particularly the spatial settlements in city's main centre and outskirts, have been identified.