|1 070 people arrested for stocktheft|
|Wednesday, 27 June 2012 21:40|
ABOUT 1 070 people have been arrested in stocktheft related cases while 148 butcheries were closed for selling uninspected meat products countrywide. Between June 18 and 24, Police Anti-Stock Theft Unit conducted an operation code-named “Nyamayabvepi Number 7” aimed at checking abattoirs, butcheries and food outlets, among others countrywide.
Police National Co-ordinator for Anti-Stock Theft Assistant Commissioner Bernard Dumbura, yesterday said they were checking for uninspected meat, stock registers, illegal meat vendors, movement of livestock and carcasses.
“We wanted to check if they were complying with the law,” he said.
He said during the operation they arrested 44 cattle rustlers, 1 029 others for stocktheft related cases and recovered 69 cattle.
Asst Comm Dumbura said during the operation, they also caused the closure of 110 restaurants and seven abattoirs.
Three carcasses and 208kg of fish were also recovered.
“We also condemned meat from 13 premises and this led to about 832kg of meat being destroyed as a result of this,” Asst Comm Dumbura said.
Asst Comm Dumbura said they were also checking over the cruel manner in which cattle and goats were being transported.
Investigations showed that cattle and goats were sometimes put in the same vehicle or transported crammed in trailers in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act Chapter 19:09.
Asst Comm Dumbura said transportation of meat or carcasses was also being done under unhealthy conditions through the use of rusty open trucks, push carts or public transport in contravention of the Statutory Instrument 50/95.
The Statutory Instrument stipulates the type of vehicles or containers to be used in transporting carcasses from slaughter houses.
Vehicles should be totally closed to prevent contamination from dust, water, insects and vermin and also water-tight to prevent drainage of liquids.
Asst Comm Dumbura said the operation was a success because objectives were met and appealed to the public to desist from buying un-inspected meat from illegal home butcheries and meat vendors.
Police recently expressed concern over some unscrupulous butchery owners who steal cattle from rural areas before bribing policemen to obtain Livestock Clearance Certificates.
A clearance certificate is issued by the police after thorough investigations to authenticate the ownership of the cattle before any transactions and movements of livestock is effected.
Police recently said incidents of stock theft and illegal movement of cattle were rampant.