Mumbai: With the city’s Deonar abattoir already facing issues of space crunch due to the influx of goats and buffaloes for Eid festival, the 64-acre slaughterhouse is now beset with a staff crunch.
Puncturing holes in the claims of the civic body, a veterinary doctor (on condition of anonymity) deployed at the abattoir said, “If looking logically, this abattoir requires 40 doctors especially during the Bakri-Eid festival but at present we are only 25 doctors who have to manage everything.”
“Basically our duty is 12-hours but due to inadequate staff, we have to work for extra hours. Right from providing animal care and management, we are responsible for examining the animals (goats only) and certifying them if they are fit for slaughter. We also have to provide medical facility to animals who fall sick due to the long journey and also due to the climate here,” the doctor said.
Speaking with The Free Press Journal, the doctor said that his team is also responsible to look after the sanitation of the animals and also for maintaining cleanliness. He also pointed out at the numerous vacancies in the civic body for veterinary doctors and wonders why the posts are not being filled.
“We are getting over-loaded with the work here and due to stress and the climate here we are getting respiratory problems,” the doctor added.
Going by the ordeal of the security guards, it can be said that they too are facing a similar situation. One guard (who chose not be named) deployed by the civic body said, “At present we are 110 guards in day and night shift each but going by the area of this abattoir and our responsibilities, the numbers aren’t sufficient.”
“Atleast 200 guards would suffice since we are responsible to maintain the entire abattoir, to look after the alotments of the sheds to the sellers and also various issues like water facility. We have to be on a round-up in this huge market to keep tabs if everything is on its place,” the guard said.
Interestingly, the civic body has more than 3,000 security guards across the city.
However, Dr. Yogesh Shetye, the general manager of Deonar abattoir, maintained that the civic body has made elaborate arrangements for the upkeep of animals.
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BUFFALOES UNDER SCANNER
While the buffaloes are lining up in city’s Deonar abattoir for the Eid festival, the veterinary doctors under the State government are busy implementing the newly amended Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act.
According to Dr. PL Sawant, head of the Animal Husbandary department at the slaughterhouse, a team of total 30 veterinary doctors, working under Maharashtra government, is examining the buffaloes, which are coming for sale in the slaughterhouse.
“We are responsible to examine the buffaloes which are brought here from various parts of the nation. We are also responsible for implementing the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act,” Sawant said.
Explaining the ‘implementation’, Sawant said, “We have to examine if the animal is fit for slaughter or not, like if the female buffalo is pregnant or if the animal is below the age of one year. And if any animal is unfit for the slaughter, we reject that animal and send them back.”
Going by the official data provided by Sawant, from September 1, a total of 3,603 buffaloes have come to the slaughterhouse from various states.
However, the data also shows that the Animal Husbandary department has rejected a total of 12 buffaloes, citing their age.