OKARA: Police officials arrested a butcher, Shakeel, on Tuesday for selling dog meat in the district.
After residents in the district began complaining of stray dogs that had bitten several people, police officials said that they began to conduct raids in the area looking to impound the dogs. “I led a team at night to search for stray dogs to take off the streets when we caught two men capturing dogs in sacks,” Constable Ishfaq said. The constable said that police followed the brothers, Muhammad and Shakeel, and discovered that they had set up a secret slaughtering operation in their house. “We discovered that they had been picking up dogs off the street and were butchering them at home. Then they sold the meat to local burger shops in the morning,” Ishfaq said.
Police officials arrested the brothers and interrogated them. A raiding team visited three kebab shops in the district and had the meat tested by local veterinarian, Dr Ahmed Hoti, who confirmed that it was dog meat.
“This is incredibly dangerous, not to mention immoral. The dog meat can cause several stomach-related diseases not to mention the danger of rabies,” he said.
Okara district police officer (DPO), Shaheen Zar, said that another set of raiding teams had arrested a man for selling donkey meat in the district. After testing the meat, veterinarian, Rashid Kaleem, confirmed that the meat belonged to a donkey and that it was being served as lamb by several hotels. Police officials said that they had also arrested the owners of the hotels responsible for purchasing the meat.
Syed Ehteshamul Haq Gillani, the secretary general of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam district Okara, said that such incidents were on the rise after the floods as diseased animal meat was often unfit for use and butchers had begun to use different animals. Gillani said that unhygienic meat was not only being sold in the local market but was also being supplied to hotels in Islamabad and Peshawar.
“Sheikh Basti Okara has become the leading market for the sale of dead animal meat or that of animals that are not fit for consumption,” a doctor at the THQ hospital, Tanveer Athar said.
“Hundreds of kilos of contaminated meat are being supplied to various cities in the province on a daily basis and it all goes from here,” Athar said.
The district coordination officer has taken notice of these incidents and said that all the accused would be arrested. The DPO has ordered raiding teams to patrol the district on a daily basis in this regard.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2010.