Samoa has two new mobile slaughter units. Set up to ensure meat is not contaminated, the Unit was dedicated and launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Animal Product and Health Unit at Vailima, on Tuesday.
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Le Mamea Ropati Mualia, said the acquisition of the units follow the passing of the Slaughter and Meat Supply Act 2015.
A meat inspector from Australia and another specialist were at Vailima on Tuesday to demonstrate how the mobile unit will be used. A captive bolt pistol was applied to the head of the cow to quickly render them unconscious before it was killed.
According to Le Mamea, the method of killing the cow is much more effective than chasing it which can result in the meat being tough. The cow was then lifted up and placed on two metal bars where it was cut without the meat touching the ground.
“After that the meat is taken straight in the fridge, stamped and ready to be taken on the shelves,” explained the Minister.
“The stamp shows that it is certified by the Ministry and it’s hygienic and clean to consume. That is the whole idea, not to have the meat contaminated and to have fewer hands handling it.”
FRESH MEAT: The idea is to make the meat safer
for public consumption.
“Compared to the ‘usual’ way of handling the meat, it gets chased to kill, the meat gets dragged on the ground and people carry them with body contact,” said Le Mamea.
“You see the way it’s been processed, the meat doesn’t touch the ground and from there it goes straight to the fridge. Some will butcher their own but that risks being penalised and people who are health conscious will ask for the meat being inspected by Ministry.”
Asked about cows that are put down by people during fa’alavelave, weddings and other traditional occasions, Le Mamea said it will eventually be included in the legislation.
“Because if you think of it that meat ends up being consumed,” he added.
Just how the Ministry will monitor that has not been decided however the Minister assures that “this is the only way that the meat can be sold on shelves is to go through the unit to ensure there is no contamination.”
“Imagine if there was a cow disease everyone will get infected if the meat is being slaughtered the way we do now.”
“The retail will be penalised if they sell any beef from fa’alavelave, it has to go through the unit.”
A bigger slaughter house or abattoir will be set up at Nu’u in three months time.