Eat pork at your own risk
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 5
AS consumers are we aware of what we’re consuming? If Action Committee Against Unabated Taxation (ACAUT) finding is anything to go by, Nagas should stop eating pork.
During its investigation, the ACAUT found out that the whole system, from pork suppliers to butchers including the veterinary department have put at risk the health of consumers. If anything, the system has been hijacked over the years by vested interests and greedy individuals making a mockery of the adage “consumer rights and public health,” a press release by ACAUT media cell said today.
ACAUT had invited all the pig suppliers for a meeting and raised the following points:
1. As soon as the train wagons carrying pigs reaches Dimapur, the dead pigs are off-loaded at discounted price to butchers. These butchers sell off the meat of the dead pigs as normal meat.
2. The diseased pigs are sold off to butchers at discounted price to be sold to consumers.
3. The pigs are fed forcefully with weight gaining additives at the time of disposal so that it gains much weight minus meat content accruing profit for suppliers which is unfair trade practice
4. Rs. 400-500 is charged extra upon butchers on every pig sold as feeds expenditure incurred between arrival of pigs and its disposal.
The suppliers did not respond to the points raised by ACAUT and their refusal to answer the points raised purely in public interest was taken as an acknowledgement of the former indulging in unfair trade practices, the release said.
The release said that ACAUT had also invited the Butchers’ Union and put forward the following proposals for implementation:
1. The consumers should get their choice of meat.
2. There should be separate rates for meat, hoofs or trotters, intestines and head.
3. They should stop cheating consumers and implement usage of weighing machines instead of hand-held “palas” or weighing scales.
4. The butchers should bring down the retail rate of meat.
The butchers expressed their inability to implement the above points raised. In fact, with straight faces they justified the usage of “palas” on the ground that weight machines would reduce their margin of profit. They also deftly rejected the issue of consumers’ choice and different rates for different body parts.
The release further said that the Butchers’ Union union was uncompromising on all the points raised by ACAUT and instead flatly blamed the suppliers for all the ills in pork retailing. On the issue of dead meat, the union was evasive but acknowledged that members indulge in it at their own risk.
However, the union admitted as much, that pigs are sold to butchers on credit on daily basis by suppliers and repayment is done after the meat is sold off. Given this system, ACAUT suspects that the suppliers give mostly the diseased or infirm pigs to Dimapur butchers and supply the relatively consumable ones to other districts, the release said.
ACAUT is of the view that Nagas should not give premium value to “local” pork which is highly sought after. Unscrupulous butchers never buy healthy pigs but always seek diseased or dying animals at discounted prices and this is sold off to unsuspecting consumers with a neat profit, the release added.
The question which now should be on everybody’s mind is: “Is it worth consuming pork at the risk to our health?”