28 dead goats found in trunk of Kathmandu-bound bus

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Sep 22, 2017-

Authorities seized 28 dead goats hidden in a luggage compartment of a passenger bus at Nagdhunga in the Capital on Thursday. 

The bus (Na 5 Kha 1683) had left from Janakpur with 41 goats stuffed inside the luggage compartment; 28 animals were found dead, though it was not immediately clear if they had died of suffocation, or they were already dead before they were crammed in the bus along with the live ones.      

The authorities had been tipped-off about the bus travelling to Kathmandu, carrying a large number of goats meant to be supplied to Samim Pureshi, a goat seller at Kalanki’s Khasibazaar, said Jeet Bahadur Gyawali of Nagdhunga Animal Quarantine.

The supplier of the goat has been identified as one Samer Mukeeri of Nepalgunj.

Supply of livestock, particularly goats, to Kathmandu Valley has increased ahead of the Dashain festival, and to ensure the animals are safe and healthy for consumption, the authorities have set up check posts at Nagdhunga, the busiest overland entry point to the Valley.  

Besides, the authorities, in coordination with Kathmandu District Livestock Service Office, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Nepal Food Corporation and Nepal Agricultural Council, are also conducting inspection of goat markets and abattoirs. 

According to Gyawali, supply of diseased or dead livestock to the Valley was common ahead of the festival when the demand for meat is high.

Last month, the Animal Quarantine Office in Nagdhunga had confiscated 11 buffaloes, 14 goats, four pigs and 4,000 chickens that were dead, he added.

Consumers’ rights activists have also raised concern over the alleged sale and supply of unhygienic meat products in Kathmandu Valley, particularly during the festive season.

Jyoti Baniya, president of Consumers’ Rights Forum, said they had been relentlessly pushing the authorities to enforce stringent regulations to discourage unscrupulous traders and businesses from selling unhygienic products.

He added that the forum had also demanded the concerned authorities to immediately set up animal quarantine centres and checkpoints at other entry points of the Kathmandu Valley. 

According to Animal Health and Livestock Service Act 1999, those found supplying meat products that are infected or dead animals could be fined up to Rs 5,000.  

Consumers’ rights activists are of the view that the legal consequences of selling unhygienic meat products are not strong enough to discourage the malpractice.  

The authorities should not take public health for granted, Baniya said. 

Published: 22-09-2017 07:50

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