LAHORE - Butchers have been playing with the lives of citizens by selling unhealthy meat, thank to botchy babus,

Using conning techniques, retailers sell the meat of sick and dead animals. They have established private slaughterhouses, shops and secret spots while they have tampered stamps to cheat on consumers to make them believe the meat they are purchasing is hygienic and tested by the authorities concerned.

On the other hand, some chicken sellers would buy dead animals from poultry farms at 25 percent of the rate of ‘alive’ chicks and sell it with impunity at the market price. Some shopkeepers have created a special terminology for the dead animals-‘phool’ (flower), which they would use in conversation with the poultry farm owners “Please also add 25 ‘phool’ in my order”, a retailer would ask the whole-seller while buying dead chicks. No body else present at the sale point would understand this code word.  A chicken seller Saadat Hussain told this scribe that the most horrible aspect of the issue is that mostly wholesale suppliers of chicken, beef and mutton are making huge money by supplying dead meat in bulk for the marriage ceremonies and other functions. Their fraud remains undetected because mostly the consumers have not enough time to keep an eye on the butchers due to their other engagements regarding the function.  He also disclosed that in some cases the management of marriage halls is also involved in the buying of dead meat on cheaper rates. And this happens under the very nose of the CDGL officials.

Illegal slaughterhouses running in the City are also contributing their share of supplying dead meat in the market. Though the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) has seemingly launched a crackdown these irregular abattoirs, there is little hope of its success given the track record of CDGL officials who remained in slumber during their mushrooming in the city.

According to rough estimate, around 200 illegal slaughterhouses were operating in the city and its suburbs. Data collected from the Livestock department of CDGL shows that an estimated 600,000 kg of meat is consumed in the provincial capital every day and around 200,000 goats and sheep and 20,000 buffaloes and cows are slaughtered every month to supply 160,000 kg of beef and 140,000 kg of mutton daily.  It has been observed that butchers are generally not aware of proper slaughtering techniques that cause loss of meat and its by-products. Animals are slaughtered in places which are frequently polluted with blood, intestinal contents and effluents. These are not well protected against insects and germs.  Doctors say that in the absence of inspections, meat from sick and parasite infected animals serves as a vector for spreading diseases, affecting human beings as well as other animals.