Pork dealers in Mbarara municipality are demanding the establishment of a slaughter house for pigs. The pork dealers argue that although there are hundreds of pork joints in Mbarara municipality, there is no single slaughter house for pigs.
They argue that the absence of a slaughterhouse compromises the quality of the pork sold to the public, since no body monitors their activities. Currently, each pork dealer slaughters his pig the way they deem fit. Our reporter visited Kijungu modern pork joint in Kakooba division, where he saw pigs being hit to death using a hand hoe.
After killing the pigs, the butchers used hot water and razor blade to remove its fur and prepare it for consumption. At Sunrise Butchery in Kakyeka Mbarara town, the dealers hit the pig to death with an axe on the head before they started preparing it for consumption.
Felix Muheirwe, the proprietor of Ahakanyasi pork Joint in Kijungu Kakooba division told URN they kill the pigs at will.
According to Muheirwe, the veterinary office isn't keen on where they pigs are slaughtered and how it is done. Joram Tugume, another pork dealer in Kakiika division, says there is no order when it comes to handling pigs in the municipality. He some butchers get pork from distant areas and transport it on motorcycles wrapped in sacks, which compromises quality.
Asaph Akanyijuka, a resident of Byafura in Mbarara Municipality, says pork joints in his area attract many customers compared to others. He however, says the failure by the authorities to supervise and monitor the activities of the pork joints exposes consumers to health risk. Imman Kagiiko, the Katete Ward LC III councilor in Kakooba division, says there is need to regulate the pork business to protect consumers.
Kagiiko, who doesn't consume pork, says he has reliably been informed that the manner in which, pigs are killed is below standards.
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He says hundreds of people in Mbarara municipality are surviving on selling pork, which calls for the intervention of the authorities to protect consumers.
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Herbert Nimusiima, the Assistant Health Officer Kakooba division, says the total number of pork joints in his division is unknown. He admits that the absence of a gazetted abattoir compromises the quality of pork. Adding that, the brutal manner in which, the pigs are killed further deteriorates the quality as the frightened animals produce toxins.
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He is hopeful that the situation may improve since the authorities have embarked on the registration of all pork joints. Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, the Mayor Mbarara Municipality, says they also concerned about the manner in which, pork is prepared.
He says plans are underway to gazette a slaughter house for pigs, which he says will not only improve the quality of pork but will also generate revenue for the municipality.