JIS News

The Montego Bay abattoir, which has been closed since August 2002 to facilitate refurbishing work, should be reopened within the next month, said Tubal Brown, Superintendent of Roads and Works at the St. James Parish Council.
Work on the facility is almost completed with the only outstanding task being the installation of three settling cambers to facilitate connection to the municipal grid.
“Installations of the settling chambers as required by the National Water Commission .will be ready and thereafter, we will see how long the connections will be made by them. I am also determined that the NWC must be on site to see the settling chambers installed and sign off on them so there can be no further delays or problems, ” Mr. Brown said, noting that the Council would be moving “post haste” to have the chambers ready within the next two weeks.
“If all proceeds as planned, we should be seeing a connection made sometime in February, making a reopening of the Montego Bay abattoir shortly afterwards”, Mr. Brown told JIS News.
The St. James Health Department had ordered the closure of the abattoir some two years ago to facilitate refurbishing work, including the upgrading of the sewage facility to prevent untreated effluent from flowing into the sea.
Since the closure, satellite stations were identified in Flower Hill, Somerton, Anchovy and Kensington of the St. James parish, to facilitate the proper and sanitary slaughtering of animals for consumption.
“The St. James Health Department has been working closely with the Parish Council and so have carried out several site visits, checking on the requirements as stipulated by the North Coast Waste Water Management Team and to our best knowledge, everything was actually put in place by the St. James Parish Council, which has expended quite a bit of funds on the project”, Chief Public Health Inspector for St. James, Desmond Clarke, told JIS News.
He noted however, that the prolonged closure of the abattoir was putting undue strain on the four satellite slaughter stations.
Nonetheless, Mr. Clarke has commended the operators of the stations “for the great sacrifice they have made to accommodate the (meat slaughtering) operations”, going as far as retrofitting their facilities to deal with the prolonged inactivity of the abattoir.
“From the standpoint of the Health Department, the stations are okay, but because of the distance and other factors, the temptation is there for butchers to short-circuit the programme. Recently, the Health Department had to confront a butcher and prosecute him for butchering at an unauthorized location”, Mr. Clarke said.
He has advised the public to be more vigilant and purchase meat only from authorized butchering locations where meats are properly tested by public health officers.

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