Kathmandu fails to allocate budget for inspection of meat market this yearOfficials say they are not monitoring the health of goats, buffaloes and pigs, or inspecting butcher shops in the metropolis this year.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City is not examining the health of poultry and livestock brought for this year’s Dashain since it did not allocate budget for it.
Officials said that the city office forgot to allocate a fund to inspect butcher shops, abattoirs and test animals for diseases while preparing the budget for this fiscal year.
"We used to depute health workers and veterinarians on all entry points of Kathmandu Valley in the past to check the health of animals brought in the Capital for meat," Narendra Bajracharya, chief of Health Department of the metropolis, told the Post. "Unfortunately, this year we forget to allocate the budget for it."
In the past, health workers and veterinarians used colour codes to verify the health of animals brought into the Valley for consumption; green for healthy animals, yellow for ailing animals and red for animals unfit for consumption. Chickens, goats, buffaloes and pigs carrying diseases and those that had died during transport or carrying diseases were confiscated before they could reach the market.
The city officials also used to monitor meat shops for hygiene and sanitation and prohibit slaughtering and selling of animals in the open.
"This year we do not know about the health condition of animals imported for meat in the Valley," said Bajracharya. "We could not deploy anyone for quarantine of animals either."
Kathmandu Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi, who is also the head of market monitoring team, said that Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya had cancelled the budget proposed for meat inspection.
"I was unwell at the time of preparing the budget. I only came to know yesterday that our mayor had slashed the budget for meat monitoring purpose when it was presented to him for approval," Khadgi told the Post.
Khadgi said that she would meet Mayor Shakya on Thursday to draw his attention over the sensitivity of the issue and would ask the officials to spend money allocated for tea and snacks in her office for market monitoring purpose.
The deputy mayor has also urged goat traders not to sell sick animals to abattoirs.
"I visited the goat market in Kalanki yesterday and asked the traders not to supply diseased animals," said Khadgi. "They assured me that they would not bring ailing animals into the Valley for slaughter."
Traders have brought thousands of goats, sheep, mountain goats, buffaloes, pigs, chickens and ducks for Dashain into Valley.
Meanwhile, the Department of Livestock Services has deployed some veterinarians for the inspection of the health of animals brought in the Valley for Dashain.