There are five ‘official’ slaughterhouses in the twin cities in Ziaguda, Gowlipura, Ramnasthpura, Amberpet and Bhoiguda handling big and small animals. They used to slaughter about 500 large animals like buffaloes, oxen and cows, and 6,000 to 8,000 small animals like sheep and goats.
The Ziaguda slaughterhouse, located in the catchment area of the Osmansagar, continues to be operational despite orders to shut down in 2003. However, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials claim, “The slaughterhouse is permanently closed and used only for selling goats and sheep.” However, many butchers operate in an unauthorised manner outside the slaughterhouse, occupying the space.
“It’s difficult to stop them, as they will oppose any such move. The problem can be resolved only once the slaughterhouses are reopened which will take another four to five months,” said Wilson, in-charge assistant veterinary officer, Central Zone, GHMC.
Though municipal corporation officials maintain that frequent checks are being conducted, they admit that they are helpless in the issue. They cannot prevent the unauthorised slaughter.
While the government had asked the butchers from these slaughterhouses to use the mechanised government abattoir at Chengicherla, the butchers have their own argument.
“Going to Chengicherla is difficult for us. It is a far off place. Whatever we save on the work will go in transport only. Our families and businesses have been here for long and we will continue our trade here,” said Hamid Shaikh, a butcher from Ziaguda.
Meanwhile, KM Kiran Kumar, inspector, Kulsumpura, said, “We are not authorised to look into the issue that comes under GHMC. If GHMC comes with a complaint or requires any help, we will surely look into the matter.”
“Meat generated by such unauthorised slaughterhouses is always dangerous and poses health hazards as the animals are killed in filthy conditions and there is no veterinary doctor to cull out the old and diseased animals,” adds Dr Wilson.
“We are left with no other alternative. The meat prices are affordable here, compared to any other retail meat shops. Non-vegetarian food is part of my daily meal,” said Md Abdul, a resident of Ziaguda. Shockingly, he also claims that many of the meat shop owners in the City buy meat from here only.
There are many residents who also oppose the illegal slaughtering. Many residents in the vicinity said that after the abattoirs were shifted to the outskirts, butchers started the unauthorised slaughtering and the authorities concerned conveniently turned a blind eye.
“With illegal and unhygienic slaughtering of animals, there is always a chance of animal diseases spreading to humans. At least after modernisation of the slaughterhouses, we expect that there will be no stench or mosquito infestation or choking of the drainage system due to animal waste being dumped into sewer lines,” said Hamid Ansari, a resident of Ziaguda.
On most occasions, the remains of meat and body parts of animals are disposed into the Musi river, that flows adjacent to the locality.
During the beginning of February the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation mayor Mohammad Majid Hussain on his visit to one of the slaughterhouses expressed anger at the engineers over the ongoing renovation works of slaughter houses. He inspected the renovation work of slaughter house at Ahmedpura. He said that the renovation work is not going as per expectations due to lack of supervision by officials.