Court fines chop bar operator for slaughtering ruminants for public consumption
Stella Gbedema, owner and operator of a chop bar, has been sentenced by the Hohoe Magistrate Court to a fine of GH¢2,400 for slaughtering ruminants in her premises for public consumption.
Gbedema would serve 12-months imprisonment if she defaults in paying the fine.
The court presided over by Madam Edith Lucy Dzormeku, also ordered the convict to immediately dismantle the area she allocated for killing and preparing the animals.
Gbedema was also ordered to stop slaughtering animals on her own for public consumption while given seven days to relocate the goat pen.
The convict was also found guilty and convicted for similar offences in 2015 and 2019.
When she appeared before the court for the third time in November 2021 for the offence to which she was convicted, she pleaded not guilty, hence the full trial of the case till this year for judgement.
Mr Frank Azila-Gbettor, Prosecuting, said the convict’s bar; Tasi chop bar, was located at the Hohoe lorry station.
He said she had been noted for slaughtering animals on her own regardless of rules and regulations concerning slaughtering of animals for public consumption.
Mr Azila-Gbettor said the convict was educated many times on the health hazards associated with her acts, but she never complied.
He said in 2015, the convict was summoned before the court for the offence and was found guilty while in early 2019, the same convict was arraigned for similar offence.
Mr Azila-Gbettor said the convict was then made aware that an ante and post-mortem needed to be conducted on animals before they were slaughtered for public consumption.
He said the convict had not turned a new leaf after the education but continued the slaughtering in her house, adding that in June 2019, the convict was summoned, pleaded guilty and was fined.
Mr Azila-Gbettor said in 2021 the Municipal Environmental Health Office was notified that the convict had continued her act and at odd hours in the night as well as at weekends when she knew the Officers would be unavailable to check on her.
He said the activity carried out by the convict was of a grave public health concern since she did not adhere to any sanitation protocols in the slaughtering process.
Mr Azila-Gbettor said the convict often slaughtered pregnant animals and the foetus were left in the open for dogs to carry along into the community causing nuisance to neighbours.
He said on November 16, 2021, at about 1900 hours, officers were alerted that the convict’s son was processing an animal and upon arrival, they found the convict burning a goat in the house.
Mr Azila-Gbettor said convict’s son confirmed that he was assigned by convict to slaughter the ruminants for her chop bar business, which he did every Hohoe market days.