Benson Ntomwa, Deputy Director of Public and Environmental Health in the Ministry of Health and Social Service, Mr Dieter Ludwig, owner of the Meat Royal and Casper Tarumbwa, Environmental Practitioner in the Ministry of Health and Social Services. (Photograph by Josephina Shikongo)
Operations at the Meat Royal Abattoir in Tsumeb has been shut down on concerns of hygiene. The abattoir is temporarily closed until it meets the health ministry’s prescribed standards. (Photograph by Josephina Shikongo)
The popular wholesale meat supplier in Tsumeb, Meat Royal Abattoir has been closed down temporarily, prohibiting all further slaughter until it meets abattoir requirements. The abattoir was shut down with immediate effect after a health and hygiene inspecton earlier this week by the Deputy Director for health in the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The Public and Environmental Health Deputy Director, Benson Ntomwa is on a supervisory support visit of all abattoirs in all fourteen regions. It was during his routine inspection of the Tsumeb abattoir that the appalling slaughter conditions were revealed. “The abattoir is temporarily closed since it does not operate in line with the required standards of an abattoir. It is highly unhygienic both inside and outside” said Ntomwa. According to the Deputy Director, an abattoir should look like a properly prepared operating theatre. He pointed out, however, that the Meat Royal Abattoir did not follow the necessary butchery procedures. Employees of the abattoir are slaughtering on iron beds and the meat is packed on the floor tiles. There are no proper handling facilities to support the normal operations of an abattoir. “People slaughtering under the trees are even better compared to the unhygienic situation of this abattoir” said Ntomwa. Following this gruesome discovery, Ntomwas instructed the Tsumeb health inspector to have regular inspections for the safety of the community. “With the fitness certificate in place, the abattoir does not have warm water, the toilets and other sewerage facilities are blocked and the general hygiene of the abattoir is of a minimal standard.” “We are not here to punish you, but to educate and promote the health of the citizens in order to prevent diseases” he emphasised. The ministry said the owner of the abbatoir, Dieter Ludwig took over the contract from Herbert Henler who previously owned the operation, adding that the current operator is in possession of a fitness certificate issued by the Tsumeb Municipality early this year. The owner has undertaken to bring the abattoir to an acceptable standard within two weeks, when another inspection will be conducted.