Kisumu County government has banned all unlicensed abattoirs across the devolved unit. County Public Health Director Osborne Odero said the government’s motive is to improve hygiene and ensure the food is prepared in healthy environments before being taken to the market.
"With Christmas and New Year festivities upon us, there is increased demand for meat and we have to guarantee high hygienic standards here," said Odero, sending a warning to those without licenses and sell meat is filthy environments.
On Wednesday, Kisumu public health officials, together with county askaris, raided the illegal slaughter slabs in Rabuor, Otonglo, Manyatta where five people were arrested.
Odero said they only want Mamboleo slaughter House to operate and butchers are encouraged to take their animals there and not anywhere else.
"We have also asked our veterinary counterparts to help us crackdown on illegal slabs and to make sure the meat going to the public market is inspected," he said.
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The public health officials cited inadequate facilities and hygiene at the illegal slaughter slabs, saying they can result in contamination of meat.
"To slaughter an animal in Mamboleo they are charged Sh350 per cow of which Sh150 goes to the vets and the county takes Sh200," Odero told The Standard.
A butcher operator claimed if they slaughter at the illegal slabs they only pay Sh150 and the transport cost is less because its nearer to their butcheries.
This is unlike going all the way to Mambo Leo in Kisumu, where they still have to incur additional transport costs.
"Mamboleo slaughter house has the potential to handle up to to 50 animals a day and small stocks. We can handle about 20 cows, 30 goats and sheep,'' said Odero.
The meat industry in Kenya is regulated by the Directorate of Veterinary Services under the State Department of Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.