Control Inside the Slaughterhouses and Chaos Outside them...
By: Abd El-Basset Khalaf
cattle randomly slaughtered in the streets of Palestinian villages
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons:
Afaq Environmental magazine investigates the chaos of "Black Slaughter" for its health consequences and the laws that are being violated. The associated laws around slaughtering animals include the Slaughterhouse Regulations of the Local Authorities of 1997 and the Agriculture Law no. 2 of 2003, which imposed strict restrictions on slaughtering, and prohibited this practice outside the slaughterhouses. The laws also stipulate the necessity of the presence of a veterinarian during the examination and assessment of inspection criteria of the carcasses, as mentioned in Articles 5, 7 and 17 of the regulations and Articles 71 and 72 of the law.
In reality, however, slaughter is carried out daily on public roads; the law is not respected and the consumers’ health is not taken into account, except in certain cities
Specialist: “Black slaughter” causes tuberculosis and tapeworm
The director of the Veterinary Medicine Department at Al-Najah University Dr. Sameh Abu Seir indicated that the general slaughterhouse regulations force every local authority with a population of more than 10,000 to build a public slaughterhouse. It’s also possible for more than one local authority to share the slaughterhouse with the presence of a veterinarian or a meat inspector. He also pointed out that the West Bank has only three slaughterhouses that work according the international standards; “Nablus, Jenin and Al Bireh”, and currently there is a plan to establish other proper slaughterhouses in Jericho, Hebron, Bethlehem and other cities.
According to Abu Seir, slaughtering outside the slaughterhouses means that here is no examination for diseases that can be transmitted to humans, most notably tuberculosis, tapeworm, and other parasitic bacterial diseases, in addition to bacteria that can also secrete chemicals into the carcass and cause jaundice and severe yolk. Consequently, we cannot determine whether this carcass was alive, sick or dead. Or even know its type - is it donkey meat or something else?
He added, “I saw a yellow carcass in one of the villages, due to having hepatitis and jaundice, and when I asked the owner about the cause he said that it was a calf and that the color was due to eating grass”!
He also explained that the diseases of animals slaughtered outside the slaughterhouses are transferred through direct consumption, cutting, or usage in the kitchen. Blood and waste, even if they are not contaminated, cause wastewater pollution and prevent the recycling of wastewater.
Abu Seir, who worked for 18 years in the slaughterhouse of Nablus municipality, revealed that chemicals in the meat produce germs and diseases that do not disappear by cooking. He refers to the meat of dead animals as haram meat (religiously forbidden) and as animals slaughtered in their last breath.
He added "Some traders (intentionally or unintentionally) tend to slaughter sick animals outside slaughterhouses and sell them after hiding their origins. Traders whose financial interest contradicts with health standards often chose the dirty profit over the expense of health and some of them buy cheap carcasses that are about to die.”
Abu Seir assured that the average consumer cannot distinguish the state of the carcasses, and if the meat is not stamped with the seal of the slaughterhouse, then it is not suitable for consumption. Even diseases that occur in living animals cannot be determined based on observation, but rather with the inspection of a specialist.
Translated by: Ghadeer Kamal Zaineh