Authorities of Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, on Wednesday arrested four women in Benin City, the State capital, for allegedly selling donkey meat, known as ‘jaki’ to unsuspecting buyers at the New Benin Market.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, effected the arrest of the suspects when he led a team of officials of the Ministry to the market.
He said the visit to the market was sequel to an alert by some members of the public that some persons were engaged in the sales of the meat, despite its prohibition in the State.
Aikhuomobhogbe noted that the action bothers on issue of food safety.
“In Edo state, donkey meat is not approved as one of the meats that we consume, but our people still indulge in it. We will take all necessary steps to ensure that we eradicate its consumption in Edo State.
“We will continue to ensure that we pursue those involved in the business so that we will bring them to justice because it is not right for us to provide food that is not healthy for our people,” he said.
On his part, the Assistant Director, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Medical Services, of the Ministry, Dr. Peter Osagie, noted that “Donkey meat is not part of the meat legislated for human consumption in Edo State; they do this business under the cover of darkness and secrecy.
“Some of these animals being processed for human consumption have not undergone any form of inspection. Any animal that has not been inspected before being presented for human consumption is considered unsafe.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Association of Edo State Practicing Butchers, Akhere Odijie, disclosed that the donkey meats are being brought into Benin City from Agbor in Delta state.
“These donkey meats have not been in the market in Edo State for a very long time, but information got to us this morning that they have brought the meat into the city at about 4 am today. We swung into action and were able to confiscate this large quantity of donkey meat,” he said.