Africa

Somalia bans slaughter of animals except at abattoir

A camel herder in Mogadishu, Somalia
Image caption Camels are highly prized in Somalia for their milk and meat

A ban on slaughtering animals anywhere except at a central abattoir has come into force in the Somali capital.

Until the start of the civil war in 1991, all meat had to be butchered at the Mogadishu Slaughterhouse.

The local authorities have now paid for the premises on the eastern outskirts of Mogadishu to be revamped and the abattoir has reopened for business.

The BBC's Ibrahim Mohamed says it is part of moves to improve hygiene in the city recovering from years of conflict.

Our reporter says traders in Mogadishu have welcomed the move, saying it will be good for business to be able to market "clean meat".

The Mogadishu Slaughterhouse is a partnership between the local city government and a private firm, Limco Ltd, he says.

The head of the abattoir, Abdullahi Museh, says 452 people work at the slaughterhouse, which has running water and electricity and is divided into three sections for camels, goats and cows.

At the moment 170 camels, 500 goats and 100 cows were slaughtered each day, he told the BBC's Somali Service.

Lorries distribute meat each day to different markets across the city and herders and private individuals could make use of its services, he said.

It costs about $10 (£6) to butcher a camel, $5 for a cow and $3 for a goat.

Our correspondent says the opening of the abattoir is the latest public service to return to the city, which is slowly recovering from occupation by rival warlords and latterly Islamist militants.

Somalia has the largest population of camels in Africa, many of which are exported to the Arabian Gulf.

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