Don­key meat abat­toir for Bu­l­awayo

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Du­misani Nsingo Bu­l­awayo Bureau

BU­L­AWAYO-BASED com­pany Bat­tle­front In­vest­ments has started build­ing a US$150 000 state-of-the-art don­key meat abat­toir that will have ca­pac­ity to dress more than 70 an­i­mals daily.

Zim­babwe’s first such abat­toir, in Water­ford sub­urb, is ex­pected on­line by mon­thend.

Bat­tle­front In­vest­ments MD Mr Gareth Lums­den said the com­pany had al­ready started buy­ing don­keys for slaugh­ter in the next three weeks.

Bat­tle­front In­vest­ments owns Aca­cia Abat­toir and three butcheries in Bu­l­awayo and one in Vic­to­ria Falls.

“I think we will have fin­ished maybe in two or three weeks’ time and we should start slaugh­ter­ing. That abat­toir is for the slaugh­ter­ing of don­keys,” said Mr Lums­den.

A tour of the fa­cil­ity showed the fa­cil­ity is al­most com­plete, with fi­nal touches be­ing put on pro­cess­ing rooms for meat and of­fals.

Mr Lums­den said the com­pany would ad­here to reg­u­la­tions per­tain­ing to buy­ing and move­ment of live­stock.

Mr Lums­den said the com­pany would try and have a se­nior Govern­ment of­fi­cial of­fi­cially open the abat­toir.

He said Bat­tle­front was buy­ing don­keys from Gokwe, Plumtree, Gwanda and ar­eas near Gweru, and they were pri­mar­ily tar­get­ing the Asian mar­ket seg­ment for sales.

Bat­tle­front, he said, was look­ing at fill­ing the gap left by the clo­sure of a don­key abat­toir in neigh­bour­ing Botswana.

Botswana sus­pended ex­port li­censes for don­keys three months ago when peo­ple com­plained they were los­ing live­stock to thieves who were sell­ing the an­i­mals to the abat­toir.

Agri­cul­ture, Mech­a­ni­sa­tion and Ir­ri­ga­tion De­vel­op­ment Deputy Min­is­ter (Live­stock), Paddy Zhanda, said he was aware of the Bu­l­awayo de­vel­op­ment.

“I’m not sure how the busi­ness will go be­cause it takes longer for a don­key to grow as com­pared to other forms of live­stock,” he said.

He con­tin­ued, “. . .we don’t have a big pop­u­la­tion of don­keys. Coun­tries with a huge pop­u­la­tion of don­keys are Botswana and Namibia. In ac­tual fact, in Namibia don­keys are left to roam in the wild. We will get to know (more) of the abat­toir when it’s com­plete as we are the ones that will in­spect it,” said Deputy Min­is­ter Zhanda.

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