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Azerbaijan bans livestock slaughter in streets

Specially designated places to be assigned instead

The slaughter of small and large cattle in Azerbaijan will henceforth only be legally allowed in special places. This order was signed yesterday by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

This issue had until recently been tackled by local executive authorities and the sanitary service with several decisions and bans passed, though without much success. The problem of slaughtering and cutting up livestock in the streets of Baku and other cities remains acute. Many roadsides in residential districts, some in close proximity to schools and kindergartens, host small shops selling fresh meat. Cows and sheep are slaughtered on the street, in front of passers-by and, often, without observing any sanitary standards.

The presidential order is expected to put an end to this practice. Illegal animal slaughter and selling of meat products on the streets will be banned. This time the ban should hold, officials promise.

Goshgar Tahmazli, the chairman of the Food Safety Agency, told reporters that local executive bodies have been instructed to designate locations for the slaughter of cattle. Within two months all this ‘meat barbarity’ should stop, and slaughterhouses should be used. In the future, they plan to equip the slaughterhouses with laboratories.

Existing slaughter places will be monitored and will have to undergo sanitary inspections and implement hygienic control. They will only be able to continue working if they comply with all requirements.

This topic has already been raised many times in the media and on online forums – people are upset that they and their children have to watch daily scenes of butchery and jump over puddles of blood.

Here are a few comments from one of the most popular forums in Azerbaijan:

“Slaughtering cattle in the middle of the street is from the Middle Ages and a shame for our city, at least fence this place off somehow.”

“In our district, by the time you reach the school, what can you not find… cow heads, sheep … yuck, disgusting.”

“Near School No.74 there is a butcher’s shop, and every morning they cut up an animal while the children go to school. I’m very interested in if you can see this in other countries in the world?”

There were also those who came to the defense of these ‘independent slaughterhouses’:

“Cutting meat in the city is not a flight of fancy. It’s because customers who know meat well will never buy it where they sell it precut. Therefore, all these conversations are not aimed at caring for citizens, but for the promotion of meat departments in chain supermarkets which are losing profit.”

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