Ministry matters

Department of Agriculture discusses slaughterhouse in western Jamaica | News

Talks are currently underway between the Department of Agriculture and stakeholders in West Jamaica regarding long-desired plans for the development and installation of an abattoir.

This decision is necessary for herders to bring in their livestock in compliance with food safety guidelines.

Agriculture Minister Pearnel Charles Jr provided a brief update on the matter today while addressing a post-sector press briefing via Zoom.

During his presentation to parliament on Tuesday, he announced the ministry’s “Grow Smart, Eat Smart” food safety initiative.

“Regarding the slaughterhouse, I am informed that we are in talks with the people who proposed it and therefore afterwards we can provide a much more sufficient answer,” said Charles Jr., without however indicating when the talks. have started. or how long they can last.

At last month’s annual Montpelier Agricultural Show in St James, Montego Bay Deputy Mayor Richard Vernon called a meeting with the ministry for the development of an abattoir in St James, citing safety concerns food in the parish.

Since 2012, there has been no abattoir or abattoir in St James, with butchers saying their absence has impacted their ability to operate within health guidelines.

There have also been frequent reports of illegal slaughterhouses across the parish.

The problem was compounded by a 2013 report that a lack of funding was preventing some local authorities in western Jamaica from establishing central slaughterhouses in the various parishes.

In 2020, Lydford Logistics Limited purchased the Sweet River slaughterhouse in Westmoreland with the intention of bringing the plant up to international standards to supply meat to owner and commercial operator Richard Lake’s restaurant chain.

– Christopher Thomas

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