St James PC pushes for new abattoir
MONTEGO BAY, St James - Chairman of the St James Parish Council Glendon Harris says the local authority has undertaken a feasibility study to determine whether a central abattoir for the parish is best suited for construction on Government-owned lands at Montpelier.
" We are looking to see if we can establish an abattoir on lands at Montpelier where we used to have an animal pound," Harris told the Observer West, adding that the parish is badly in need of such a facility.
St James has been without a central abattoir since the health department ordered the closure of the Montego Bay Abattoir on River Bay Road more than a decade ago.
Since the closure, butchers have been carrying out the slaughtering of animals at four satellite stations across the parish.
However, there have been instances in which the St James Public Health Department has expressed concern about the conditions under which some butchers were operating.
Additionally, several organisations including the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) have expressed concern about the absence of a central abattoir in the parish.
"The continued practice of slaughtering animals under less than ideal circumstances is a major point of concern for the chamber as the health and welfare of the citizens of the parish is being put at risk daily," said MBCCI's president Davon Crump.
"The reality of it is that without a legitimate abattoir, God knows what you might be having for dinner this evening. Is it really beef or pork, or something else found on the side of the road, or even horse meat,?" asked Crump.
He stressed that the municipal authorities must act swiftly in getting a central abattoir up and running.