Nigeria requires that all animals for human consumption are subjectd to a vetinary inspection before and after slaughter. One of the ways in which hairs are removed from the skin of animals being prepared is by burning them off over open fires. Due to a shortage of wood, many abattoirs are using burning tyres to do the job.
This releases chemicals into the environment, which is bad for the helth of employees and also enables the flesh of the slaughtered animals to become contaminated.
From a study on the impact of roasting goats with tyres on human health and the environment, it was revealed that tyre has a 45.49, 40, 0.23 and 1.17% composition for carbon black, zinc oxide wax and sulphur toxic materials which could pose serious health threats to human beings and the environment. Therefore, for food safety and public health, the issue of chemical contamination of meat through the use of scrap tyres for meat singeing must be addressed to save unsuspecting consumers from possible exposure to ingestion of heavy metals.
There have been some abattoir closures and there are calls for the government to take stronger action to halt this poor practice once and for all.