Some residents of Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory have decried the unhygienic means of transporting meat from abattoirs to the market.
Some residents speaking with the press on Sunday said the use of wheelbarrows, motorcycles and rickety vehicles to transport meat was worrisome and posed health challenges.
A civil servant, Mrs Oyindamola Adegbenga, decried the wheelbarrow mode as unhygienic and equally denounced the way meat is handled at the abattoir.
“I used to like meat, but after seeing the way they use wheelbarrows to transport meat and sometimes even carry the meat on their heads, I stopped buying from the meat stalls.
“I can only eat meat that I am sure about the way it was handled. Most times, we gather ourselves and buy a cow, kill it and share the meat. This way, I am comfortable eating such meat.
“I think whoever is in charge of abattoirs should educate the butchers on proper ways of meat handling,’’ she said.
Adegbenga called on the government to provide better means of transporting meat to markets and to other designated places.
Mr Darlington Eboh, an artisan, said while he did not place much emphasis on the way meat is handled, those in charge should do things the proper way and professionally too.
Eboh said those in charge should find out how meat is handled in developed countries and replicate the same in Nigeria.
On his part, a butcher, Mr Suleiman Mohammed, said meat handlers would comply if the government introduced better means of conveying meat from abattoirs to markets.
“For now, wheelbarrows, motorcycles and these old vehicles you see around are our means of transporting meat and we will continue to use them until there are alternatives,’’ he said.
Responding to residents’ lamentations, Dr Sidiama Adamu, Principal Veterinary Officer, Gwagwalada Abattoir said plans were underway by the FCT Administration to provide haulage vans to convey meat from abattoirs to markets.
He said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently donated refrigerated meat vans to the FCT Administration and that the latter planned to provide more.