The new slaughter house is located in the vicinity of the Basseterre Abattoir.
Director of Agriculture Mr. Ashton Stanley who chaired the opening ceremony, revealed that the facility is the first of its kind in the Federation. He also explained how the project came about as well as the source of funds for construction.
“The idea was conceived during last year’s review and planning meeting, when concerns were raised by representatives of the Public Health Department about persons selling meat on the open market without proper sanitation. The health officials suggested that a special facility be erected for the slaughter of rabbit and poultry by members of the rabbit and poultry associations.
“Within a very short time the Department of Agriculture began working on the plan for the realization of this goal and sought and received financial assistance from the Venezuelan Embassy to construct the facility,” Stanley explained.
According to him, “additional funds were secured from the Food and Agriculture Organization and Caribbean Nutrition and Food Institute.”
Meanwhile, Minister with responsibility for Agriculture, Dr. Timothy Harris said he was very pleased to officiate the ceremony to mark the official handing over of the rabbit and poultry slaughter facility.
“The handing-over of this facility during one of the more hectic periods in the calendar of the abattoir is timely. This facility makes an important contribution to food Security. It provides additional offerings to routine slaughter services involving sheep, pigs, cattle, goats, to now include poultry and rabbits,” Harris said.
According the Minister, “By developing the facility we signal a commitment to the hygienic approach to animal slaughter. The facility puts us in compliance with respect to food safety and sanitation requirements. No more backyard style plucking and slaughter. At this facility the carcasses will be inspected before they are deemed fit for human consumption. Consumers can obtain a measure of assurance knowing that their meat is produced under safe, sanitary and humane conditions.
Director Stanley informed that although the new facility has already been officially opened, operations will not commence until late January 2011.