Safe meat: Consumers’ protection union calls on government and businessmen to build modern slaughterhouses

Consumer Rights Protection NGO expert Victor Abrahamyan considers it very alarming that the slaughter of animals in Armenia customarily takes place in ‘yard conditions’ and not at special slaughter-houses as it was the case during Soviet times.

“Yard slaughter is fraught with the danger of spreading various infections,” Abrahamyan stressed at a press conference on Friday, adding that animal slaughter is mainly carried out without professional supervision, in unsanitary conditions.

The expert says that slaughterhouses need to be established so that the slaughter of animals be not only safe, but also profitable, since, as he put it, “in slaughterhouses only animals’ mooing and bellowing is lost.”

“During slaughter in yard conditions the slaughtered animal’s intestines are thrown to dogs, while useful things can be made of it, such as insulin from animal pancreas, and in [house conditions] it is not used,” said Abrahamyan.

The Consumers Rights Protection NGO, aiming to improve the meat and meat products safety situation in Armenia, has launched a multimedia campaign as part of the “Support for the Development of Slaughterhouses in Armenia” program, which is being implemented with the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and with the funding of the Greek government.

Abrahamyan urged businesspeople to build slaughterhouses, saying that it will cost 30,000-50,000 to build a slaughterhouse, while under the program a businessman will get equipment for the facility free of charge.

Besides the problem of the absence of slaughterhouses, specialists single out the issue of unhygienic transportation and sale of meat and meat products and a faulty application of the legislation in this regard. Selling meat without refrigeration for the first time is penalized with a fine of up to 50,000 drams (about $135), while a repeat offense entails a fine of up to 300,000 drams (more than $800).