THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the corporation struggles to get the modern abattoir planned in the city up and running, illegal meat shops thrive in the city. The numbers go up especially on Sundays.
These shops operating without the necessary licence or certification provide for the city's huge demand for meat. "Earlier, when the corporation abattoir was running, some of these butcher shops had licences. At the time, they were all supposed to bring the animals to the abattoir, get them cut and sealed before being sold at the shops. The licence we provided was only for storing and selling meat. However, with the shutdown of the corporation's old abattoir, this mechanism collapsed," said a corporation official.
In theory, meat can only be sold after getting the corporation's approval. "This is done by the veterinary doctor in the corporation-owned abattoir, who certifies that the animal is healthy and good for consumption. Since we do not have such a mechanism in place, there is no means of controlling or regulating butcher shops without upsetting the demand and supply," said the official.
However, raids are conducted when the corporation receives complaints regarding the meat sold. "Many of them are now butchering animals outside the corporation limits and bringing the meat here to sell," said the official.
Another official said the situation can be managed better if the new abattoir is ready. "We see animal waste being dumped around the city. In the present situation, we aren't able to keep track of what all is being sold. They could be mixing meat with many things that we don't usually consume," he said.
The corporation authorities expect to complete the modern abattoir planned in Kunnukuzhy in a year. However, the file was sent for government approval as the party setting up the machines demanded payment of 50 per cent of the total amount. The government is expected to make a final decision on the same in a week's time.