The Kaduna State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources on Friday urged butchers in slaughterhouses to be cautious of the dangers of air pollution.
Lawal Jibrin, Managing Director, Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA), gave the advice in Kaduna as part of activities marking the World Environment Day celebration tagged: “Beat Air Pollution’’.
According to him, air pollution has become a growing concern in the past few years, with an increasing number of acute air pollution episodes in many cities.
He said the choice of Kakuri Slaughter House, Kaduna South Local Government Area (LGA) was because of the high rate of smoke emission coming from the slaughter house .
“We are here to sensitise the butchers on keeping a healthy environment and ensuring they comply with the regulations of KEPA,’’ Jibrin said.
Mahmood Shuaibu, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said consumption of cowhide prepared with burnt tyres had some negative effects, not only on human beings but also on the environment as a whole.
He said that burning of tyres produced some toxic materials which posed health hazards to humans and the soil, saying that the substances could also pollute water and air.
“Roasting slaughtered animals with burning tyres releases some harmful elements into the hide or skin of the animal which diffuse into its body beyond acceptable limits,’’ he said.
Shuaibu said that apart from the health effects of consuming hides prepared with burning tyres, the residues of the burnt tyres could be washed into the soil and water sources in the event of rainfall.
“When such polluted waters are consumed by humans, the effect will be the same as the effect of consuming cowhide processed with fire from the burning tyres,’’ he said.
Shuaibu said that the tyre-burning process caused air pollution, which could trigger asthma attacks in asthmatic patients.
“It could also lead to respiratory infections, especially in children, due to the thick smoke and smell it produces,’’ he said.
Yahaya Bello, Head Butcher of Mekera, expressed joy over the initiative and pledged to mobilise butchers to ensure that the market environment is always kept clean.
He gave an assurance that the best practices of roasting hides would be used in order to have a healthy environment.