As the country grapples with COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world economy, Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has issued tough guidelines that must be followed in the process of procuring and slaughtering animals.
The guidelines, the Ministry says, are in line with presidential directives and Ministry of Health measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Animal owners must inform local authorities prior to selling their animals on the farm who will provide a letter to ascertain ownership. A veterinary officer will give movement permit from the abattoir,” said Agriculture State Minister Bright Rwamirama.
He said the animals must be treated, loaded, offloaded and transported humanely with adequate spacing in transportation trucks.
Rwamirama emphasized animals must only be moved during the day.”
Animal handlers during loading, offloading, transportation, slaughter, animal product transportation and sale must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); wash hands with water and soap before and after handling animals; wash hands with water and soap and sanitizer on entry to the farm and adequately clean their PPE with disinfectant before to another farm.
Each farm must have chemical car tyre wash through which vehicles will be driven to disinfect and avoid spread of infectious organisms between farms.
The animals to be slaughtered must be properly rested and provided with plenty of drinking water.
The veterinary service providers must undertake ante mortem (before slaughter) inspection to ensure only health animals are slaughtered.
Animal slaughters and other abattoir workers must be certified by health authorities as being in good health and must wear appropriate PPE and keep hygiene of hands and the equipment used in the slaughtering process.
At all times of operations, people must keep social distance as guided by the Ministry of Health with not more than 5 people per operation.
The slaughter facility should be cordoned off, have hand washing equipment and plenty of portable water and soap.
At the butcheries, persons serving animal product must only be two at a time.
The person receiving money must not touch the animal product.
The person buying animal product must be one at a time while the next customer keeps a four-metre distance.
Customers for animal products must come with containers to carry product procured and avoid use of polythene bags (kaveera) to avoid chemicals in kaveera entering animal product.
All the butcheries must mark with white paint areas for customers to stand while waiting to be served and ensure social distancing.
All animal products must be well cooked to ensure elimination of any harmful microorganisms to the consumer.