Pakistan: Shahpur Kanjran slaughterhouse nearing completion

LAHORE – Lahorites may start getting fresh and hygienically slaughtered meat form December as Punjab government’s state-of-the-art slaughterhouse project at Shahpur Kanjran has entered in its completion stage.
Speaking to a select group of journalists, Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development (PLDD) Secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh disclosed that the soft launch of the newly established slaughterhouse had been scheduled in December. However, the project would be formally inaugurated by an Iranian dignitary as Iran had helped Pakistan set up the facility.
He said that the new slaughterhouse would not only cater to local demand but would also help in enhancing halal meat exports from Punjab. He pointed out that the international halal meat market hovers at around $637 billion, of which Pakistan had a negligible share of less than one percent.
The PLDD secretary said the slaughter house would have two slaughtering lines of 6,000 animals, meaning that in an eight hours shift 6,000 animals could be slaughtered in a hygienically controlled environment. He said internationally recognised meat processing standards would be ensured during the slaughtering and marketing process. He said that the project would first cater to domestic demand, but once the certification and standardisation process was completed it would start processing export orders.
Sheikh said that while Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company (PAMCO) had the administrative control of the project, but it would attract investment from local and international investors.
Speaking about the current meat processing arrangements, he said that the government was aware about the situation and laws were present to curb malpractices. He said that since the government had no substitute, once the new meat processing facility was operational the government would ensure compliance to the rules. It will not only cut the government’s health bill, but encourage meat exports from the country, he maintained.
He said the PLDD Department recognised bottlenecks in the meat supply chain as not enough animals were being produced to cater to domestic demand. He said there were substantial production losses due to the early slaughtering and mortality of male calves. He said estimates suggested around 5-6 million male calves were being slaughtered before the age of one month due to economic reasons.
While the dairy sector had witnessed remarkable growth during recent years, meat processing is still lacking far behind, he said. He said the government was operating only three slaughterhouses, which could not fulfill domestic demand since the population had increased.