The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Thursday conducted a high-level meeting wherein a series of measures have been taken in relation to the carcass meat controversy.
The KMC, post dead meat controversy, has been carrying out several food safety drives in the city wherein the food safety officers are raiding restaurants and roadside shops, picking up food samples and sending them to the laboratory for examination.
The KMC food safety team had visited the Alipore Zoological Garden to enquire where the leftover meat by the animals are being taken. It was learnt that such meat is given to an authorised agent, Ramprit Das, who further sends it to a fertiliser firm at Dhapa dumping ground.
The civic body will, however, confirm the claim with the conservation department. In a recent development, the zoo authorities have on Thursday sent a letter to the civic body’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) department, asking them to bear the responsibility of taking away left-over meat from the zoo and the animal carcasses for burying them in the dumping ground.
Speaking on the issue, Mr Atin Ghosh, member mayorin- council (MMIC), health, said: “Our SWM department has received a letter from the zoo authorities asking us to take the responsibility of dumping and burying animal carcasses at Dhapa dumping ground. However, we are sending them a letter stating that as per the Zoo Rules 2009 read with the amendment rules 2013, the zoo authorities have to bury carcasses of animals inside the zoo premises while any leftover meat by the animals have to be first disinfected and processed before it leaves the zoo.”
Adding to it, Mr Ghosh said: “We are also in talks with the state animal resources department and Kalyani University where DNA tests of meat will be conducted on a regular basis. We are taking initiatives so that no meat can be sold without examination. The KMC laboratories are also being modernised and soon DNA tests could be conducted here too. For the modernisation of our labs, the state government has given us Rs 5 lakh from the 14th Finance Commission. The tenders for buying the equipment will soon be floated after a meeting on Saturday.”
“Alongside, we are also reconsidering a proposal to set up mechanised abattoirs in the civic body markets. We are presently conducting surveys to look for space. We are forming mobile teams who would conduct 24 hours vigilance drives. A three member committee will be formed for inducting more food safety officers,” said Mr Ghosh.