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Madurai meat stalls flout rules, likely to be shifted to outskirts

Several meat stalls in Madurai has been operating in parts of the city despite the lock and seal order to control COVID-19 spread.

Madurai meat stalls flout rules, likely to be shifted to outskirts
Officials checking a slaughterhouse at Nelpettai in Madurai


Health conscious consumers feel that it is contradictory, as hygiene is losing the battle. While doctors have been advising people to maintain levels of hygiene as the first step to good health, meat sold at mutton stalls slaughtered without proper sanitisation raises a serious concern, they said.

R Selvaraj, a consumer in Madurai, said, “The authorities should ensure that meat animals were slaughtered hygienically and the product is fit for consumption. They must also keep a check on prices. Usually, a kilo of mutton was priced at Rs 800, but in recent days, it has gone up to Rs 1,000 a kg.”

According to S Muthukrishnan, president, Madurai City Mutton Retail Merchants Association, except Sundays, mutton stalls are allowed to function as directed by authorities. But meat stalls close to market areas are restricted from functioning fully until further orders. On a daily average, about 600 to 700 goats and sheep will be slaughtered earlier, before the lockdown period and around 2,000 such animals on Sundays. “Though slaughterhouses exist at Anupanadi, which is far off from the city, only forty to fifty meat animals were butchered in a day,” he said.

So far, 300 kilos of meat have been seized for violating instructions. Based on complaints of open slaughtering, actions would be taken, said R Jayakrishnan, Veterinary Consultant, Madurai.

When contacted, M Somasundaram, Designated Officer, Department of Food Safety, Madurai district, said since the slaughterhouse at Nelpettai, where goats and sheep are normally slaughtered in large numbers is located at the city central, is unhygienic and locked down. Now, efforts are on to shift the operations completely to Anupanadi, he added.

Kovai Collector permits meat stalls to reopen
Non-vegetarians have a reason to rejoice as meat shops in Coimbatore were permitted to reopen on Wednesday.
The district administration ordered closure of all meat shops as they did not follow social distancing norms earlier. Since then, there has been persistent demand from meat associations demanding to allow them to sell their product.
Nearly after 10 days, District Collector K Rajamani issued an order to reopen the meat shops in the district. The order comes after Local Administration Minister SP Velumani hinted that there wouldn’t be any issue in reopening meat shops if social distancing norms are followed strictly.
The Collector then asked the meat shops to follow social distancing norms and warned against large gathering of people in violation of Section 144. They should be opened only up to 1 pm. The Collector also warned that shops functioning in violation will be sealed.
Soon after the order, some of the shops opened up for sales. But, many do not have stock of chicken and are expected to open once poultry stock arrives from breeders.
In Salem district too, the meat shops were disallowed in city limits following complaints of crowding by consumers. Instead, arrangements were done at an open ground near Arabic College on Omalur Main Road in city outskirts for meat sellers to put up stalls.

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