Butchers arrested for slaughtering a pregnant cow in Kuajok
Authorities in the Warrap State capital, Kuajok, said four butchers accused of slaughtering a pregnant cow were arrested but later released on bail while the investigations continue.
The four butchers allegedly slaughtered a pregnant cow in Kuajok town’s abattoir last week and later dumped the fetus outside the compound of the facility.
Police and local authorities told Radio Tamazuj that it is not allowed, by the veterinary and state by-laws, to kill expectant animals. They also said it was also taboo to kill pregnant cows because it can lead to the extinction of cattle.
Maj. Gen. John Bak, the director of police in the now-defunct Gogrial state, said the butchers were arrested by police personnel on patrol who found the fetus dumped near the slaughterhouse.
“According to orders from animal resources, a pregnant cow cannot be slaughtered and for that case when police were patrolling the area, they found the calf thrown near the slaughterhouse. For that reason the police arrested butchers who were working that day for investigation," Gen. Bak said. “Investigations are ongoing because there is a doctor who inspects the animals to know whether they are pregnant or sick before the butchers are allowed to slaughter them. The butchers arrested are four and they were bailed out but investigations are ongoing.”
Salvatore Mayar, the director of animal resources and fisheries in the now-defunct Gogrial State confirmed that South Sudan’s Veterinary Act prohibits the act.
“In South Sudan, our resources depend on our livestock. We have the Veterinary Act that prevents people from slaughtering young, pregnant, and sick animals. It is good that when we have a case, the meat inspector and the staff of the livestock department are the ones to open a case against the butchers,” Mayar said.
“My people were in the slaughterhouse and they said the case was not there during the inspection. After two days, the fetus was found by an old woman and they said this could be from the slaughterhouse but the meat inspector, the doctor who was carrying out the meat inspection during his shift said he did not get that fetus,” he added.
Wol Aleu, the Mayor of Kuajok Municipal Council, confirmed the arrest of the butchers and said if they are found guilty, they will face the law.
“The case is under investigation because what was killed is a pregnant cow and because of that the butchers have been arrested and they are being investigated. A pregnant cow cannot be killed because if the pregnant cows are killed will perpetuation of the cattle be there? The ones that give birth are the ones that make the number of cattle grow,” Mayor Wol said. “The bulls and oxen are the ones that are killed but not pregnant cows because they are a source of livelihood. If these people are convicted then the law will take its course, it will not be for the town council, it will be the law.”
The chairman of the chamber of commerce, Akec Mayar, says butchers are aware of the law that prevents them from slaughtering pregnant animals and that the fetus was not found inside the slaughterhouse but outside the fence. He said the allegations are baseless.
“The case of the arrest of butchers is that there was a calf found near the slaughterhouse and that nobody knows the owner of that calf. The butchers are saying that they slaughtered cows but there was no calf found, so there is no ground to arrest the butchers,” according to Akech. “The calf was found outside the slaughterhouse, it was not found inside the slaughterhouse and so our butchers are not responsible. There are so many cows loitering near the slaughterhouse, maybe this calf belongs to them.”