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Sunday, 15 May 2011

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Government Gazette

Cattle saved from slaughter

From unauthorised abattoir in Welisara:

The government imposed a ban on the slaughter of animals and the closure of liquor bars, taverns and casinos for a period of three days from 16th-18th of May 2011 in view of the Sambuddathva celebrations this month. According to police however it is during prohibition times that bootleggers make a fortune by supplying liquor and beef to unauthorised outlets in the City of Colombo. Prior to Vesak celebrations last year, several illicit hooch dens were raided and barrels containing unlawfully manufactured liquor (Goda) and unlawfully distilled spirits (Kasippu) were seized by the police.

Tipped off

Last week, the OIC of the Walana Vice Squad, Inspector Duminda Balasuriya was tipped off that an illicit cattle slaughter house was being operated at Mahabage Welisara.

The informant told the OIC that cattle were transported from distant places such as Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Embilipitiya, Moneragala and Ratnapura to the abattoir at Welisara.

The informant further told that cattle stricken with diseases, are being slaughtered without the approval of the Veterinary surgeon or by the Public Health Inspector (PHI) of Welisara town. In fact the slaughter house had been raided on previous occasions. Meanwhile the cattle tethered to the walls of the abattoir were also seized by the police. As the information appeared to be credible, OIC Walana Vice Squad detailed a 12 member police team led by Sub Inspector Dharmasiri to raid the premises.

The team was despatched to Samagi Mawatha at Welisara-Kandana last Tuesday with instructions to raid the abattoir if the allegations were true. The police party travelled to Welisara in a vehicle.

They arrived at Welisara around 2 a.m. Having parked the vehicle in a less conspicuous area of the town, the policemen walked to Samagi Mawatha, where the abattoir was situated. The policemen were clad in laymanís garb to shield their identity from the prying eyes of the public.

They lay in ambush near the abattoir until 4 a.m. By that time the slaughter of cattle had began. When the policemen walked in to the abattoir in the wee hours of the morning, what they witnessed was a harrowing experience.

Two suspects

Five slaughtered cattle and their flesh lay on the blood splattered floor. They found four more cattle tethered to a wall just outside the abattoir. The cattle were to be slaughtered that morning if not for the intervention of the police.

The two butchers present at the abattoir were taken into police custody along with the knives and implements used by the butchers in the slaughtering process. Police questioned the two suspects and learnt that they were residents of Wattala and Ragama areas. Despite earlier raids and cases still pending before courts, the abattoir had functioned over the years violating Municipal laws. Residents have told police that butchers were responsible for polluting the area by dumping offal such as skulls and fragments of bones and flesh in a land adjacent to the abattoir. Complaints made by residents about the stench had gone unheeded. They have fallen on deaf years, police said.

Apart from the stench the dumping of offal has created a bigger environmental problem as a whole. The two suspects who were produced before the Wattala Magistrate pleaded guilty to the charges and were fined Rs. 17,500.

The Magistrate postponed the inquiry with regard to the four cattle seized by the police. The cattle have been handed over to the police with instructions to trace its owners. The Magistrate ordered the 600 kilos of beef seized by the police to be destroyed as it was not fit for human consumption.

The statements of the Public Health Inspector was also recorded with regard to five slaughtered cattle. The Public Health Inspector (PHI) in his statement said the cattle was slaughtered without his knowledge.

Last year the Walana Vice Squad raided the same abattoir at Samagi Mawatha and found 35 buffaloes and cows slaughtered on the previous night. The unauthorised abattoir was the largest where over 100 buffaloes are slaughtered every day. Police learnt the buffaloes had been transported from the North Central and the Eastern provinces by using lorries.

It was further revealed that the suspects involved in transporting cattle to Colombo had used false documents. The 1,105 killogrammes of meat found at the abattoir was worth rupees 100,000. Police also seized 41 heads of cattle including buffaloes and cows worth over Rs. one million.

A few years a ago the Central Anti Vice Striking Force (CAVSF) raided an illegal buffaloe slaughter house at Payagala and found the carcases of two buffaloes, eight live buffaloes and two cows and a calf.

 

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