NIGERIA – In a proactive move to ensure the safety of poultry products and prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases, the Oyo State government has instituted comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for poultry processing farmers.

The SOP will govern all aspects of poultry processing, encompassing the procurement of chickens, slaughtering, transportation, and packaging.

Olasunkanmi Olaleye, the Commissioner for Agriculture, emphasized that the SOP serves as a critical guideline for inspecting chicken processing plants.

The focus is on ensuring food safety, maintaining quality control, and adhering to veterinary regulatory compliance standards throughout the poultry processing chain.

Commissioner Olaleye stressed that, in accordance with the Oyo State Meat law, all chicken plants and slaughterhouses must be accredited and licensed before commencing operations.

He cited section 5, sub-section 1 of the law, which mandates that “the controlling authority or any other person wishing to establish a slaughterhouse shall make an application in the prescribed form to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the registration of such slaughterhouse.”

The objective of this initiative is twofold: to sanitize poultry businesses in the state and ensure the safety of lives and properties, while concurrently eradicating zoonotic diseases and unauthorized practices in the poultry sector.

Presenting the SOP to the Chairman of the Association of Poultry Processors, Oyo State Chapter, and its members in Ibadan, Commissioner Olaleye highlighted the significant impact of zoonotic diseases, noting that approximately 90% of human diseases are contracted from animals.

The Oyo State government, therefore, has initiated an aggressive campaign to address this concern.

While acknowledging the importance of the SOP in promoting the health of citizens, Commissioner Olaleye urged strict adherence to the guidelines.

He emphasized that violators would face legal consequences, underscoring the government’s commitment to maintaining high standards in poultry processing.

Christianah Abioye, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, reassured the poultry association that the implementation of SOP is not intended to impose hardships but is a collaborative effort to ensure the safety of poultry products and streamline government support based on accurate data.

Balogun Aboidun, the Chairman of the Association of Poultry Processors, Oyo State chapter, expressed appreciation for the government’s efforts in eradicating zoonotic diseases and supporting the poultry industry.

He pledged the association’s readiness to collaborate with the government to achieve its vision of enhancing the agricultural sector in the state.

“This collaborative approach aims to establish a sustainable and health-conscious poultry industry in Oyo State.”

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