LAHORE – The City District Government Lahore (CDGL) has failed to control the illegal slaughter of animals in the provincial capital despite its ongoing drive against the same, mainly because of absence of any suitable mechanism in this regard, according to a survey conducted by TheNation.

Interestingly, the illegal slaughter of animals is on the rise in different residential vicinities of the City right under the nose of the livestock and agriculture departments, as well as the Lahore Meat Company.

The survey reveals that the majority of butchers across the City are selling unstamped and unhygienic meat in violation of relevant laws, particularly since the closure of CDGL slaughterhouses. Further, some butchers dealing in red meat are selling the meat of sick and even dead animals because of poor monitoring by the authorities concerned.

Taking advantage of ‘friendly’ government officials, many influential butchers are also running private slaughterhouses in residential localities, particularly those located in the surroundings of Old Bakar Mandi such as Kot Kamboh and D-Block, Sabzazar Colony, despite the CDGL ban on the same.

“These butchers enjoy the patronage of the son of Qayyum Qasai alias Qooma Qasai,” complained residents of D-Block, Sabzazar Colony, while talking to this scribe, though initially they were reluctant to share any name. “This group is not only influential but also financially strong, and that is why the district administration is afraid of taking action against them,” alleged a resident of the area, adding that the group is notorious for running a number of illegal businesses and its members were equipped with sophisticated weapons.

Another resident of the area told this scribe that dozens of butchers are residing in the locality and running their illegal slaughterhouses without any fear of the departments concerned or district administration officers. “Officials are reluctant to take any action against these butchers because their head is considered to be the blue-eyed of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif,” he alleged.

It was also witnessed during the survey that some butchers were openly violating CDGL rules regarding keeping cattle outside its boundaries, making one feel that the departments concerned were overlooking this matter just to extract bribes from the violators.

On the other hand, officials of the Health Department and other departments concerned of the CDGL claimed the district administration was not only evicting banned cattle from its boundaries but also conducting raids against illegal slaughterhouses.

They said the majority of illegal slaughterhouses in D-Block, Sabzazar Colony, had been forcibly closed during the ongoing drive and dozens of FIRs had been lodged against the violators. The crackdown against remaining illegal slaughterhouses in the City would be soon launched, the officials concluded.