The East Khasi Hills district administration in Meghalaya has constituted an animal market monitoring committee to ensure that meat sellers or vendors do not display meat without covering in order to avoid contamination and health hazards.
This was informed in a meeting convened by the deputy commissioner with all stakeholders including the Shillong Municipal Board, Hima Mylliem, the food safety commissioner and representatives of the Butchers’ Association on June 15.
The objective of the committee is to ensure that meat sellers and vendors comply with section 18 to Rule 25 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 pertaining to the sale of live animals.
The steps taken were in pursuance of an order passed by the Meghalaya high court in regards to the PIL filed by the Gau Gyan Foundation.
An awareness campaign will also be organized by the committee for enforcement of the act.
Further, as per the order and also the Food Safety & Standards Act 2006/Food Safety & Standard Rules and Regulations 2011, meat sellers or vendors are not to display meat or part of the meat openly either by hanging or keeping it in front of the shop without covering in order to avoid contamination and health hazards.
Sensitization of all concerned in this matter will be taken up by the office along with the Shillong Municipal Board and Food Safety Commissionerate, and a timeline will be given for compliance by all concerned.
The deputy commissioner has also instructed the assistant commissioner of food safety to disseminate information and provide training on alternative methods of display of meat, including storage in glass-covered enclosures to prevent multiple contacts by buyers and swarming of flies etc.
The committee also encouraged meat vendors to not use plastic bags for the sale of meat products and to request that buyers bring their own carry bags.