In an appalling incident reported from Chennai, a consignment carrying around 2 tons of dog meat was seized by the food security officials from Chennai’s Egmore railway station.
On Saturday, at around 10.30 am Mannargudi-Bhagat Ki Kothi Weekly Express, coming from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, rolled into platform number 5 of Tamil Nadu’s Chennai Egmore railway station. Twenty thermocol parcels emitting a foul smell was unloaded from the train. RPF personnel on a routine patrol got the foul smell and intervened the men who were placing the boxes onto the platform. The men immediately abandoned the parcels and escaped.
The RPF officials split the boxes open to find the frozen meat of some small animals. The hooves and heads of the animals were cut off. The RPF officials immediately called up food safety officials. It did not take the food safety official team, led by Dr R Kathiravan of Tamil Nadu, long to suspect that the meat could actually be slaughtered dogs.
Meat samples were sent to Madras Veterinary College to test if they were actually dog meat.
The parcels were initially booked by someone at Gandhidham in Gujarat. Surprisingly, the parcel box which was sent from Jodhpur did not contain a copy of the receipt for the parcel which is mandated for transporting goods by trains.
Dr R Kathiravan, Designated Officer, Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration, Chennai said that the 2190 kgs of meat had been seized as the parcel did not have the seal of the slaughterhouse. “Besides, there was no evidence for complete cold chain maintenance during transportation. It is suspected that the iceboxes had been changed at nine places between Jodhpur and Egmore,” he added.
The Food Safety wing has asked the railways to provide the details of the consigners. “If it is found to be dog meat, appropriate legal action will be initiated in accordance with the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, “ noted Kathiravan.
Similarly, in April 2018, an awful incident came to light, where a night-long raid at an ice factory in Rajabazar, Kolkata had yielded as much as 20 tonnes of carcass meat, packed and ready to be sold.
Packed neatly in 1,000 packets, each weighing 20kg, the carcass meat, allegedly mixed with fresh meat, was sold to hotels and restaurants after being treated with chemicals at -44 °C for four to five days. This news had created a panic amongst the restaurant owners and consumers prompting Kolkata police to initiate a probe.