Tyre and Rubber Recycling has reported in the past about the practice of meat traders using tyres to singe the hairs of the carcasses of cattle. For some time now the Nigerian authorities have cautioned against the practice, and there was talk of imposing a ban.
Nigeria Moves Slowly on Toxic Tyre Practice
However, an article in Punch, a Nigerian investigative website, reports an even more toxic practice using old tyres, plastic pellets and even used engine oil.
The creation of a popular budget “meat” called “ponmo,” or “awo” is carried out by searing the skins of slaughtered cattle over a smoking fire of tyres and plastic, with the added extra kick of carcinogens from used engine oil, reports Punch.
Punch’s reporter Deji Lambo, “went around the major ponmo markets and slaughterhouses in Lagos, observing ponmo processing, interviewing unsuspecting ponmo sellers and processors and gathering overwhelming evidence about the sneaky, evil trade that unscrupulous ponmo processors carry out at the back of expansive slaughterhouses in the state, far away from prying eyes.
After paying preliminary visits and observing all that these ponmo processors did to keep their business secret, our correspondent decided to disguise as a university student researcher to gain access to their operational base where ponmo is processed with plastic, tyres, and a black oil substance that some people say was used engine oil.
Our correspondent disguised as a student when visited several abattoirs in the Ikorodu Local Government Area; Agege Local Government Area; Barracks and Ijanikin abattoirs in the Ojo Local Government Area; private ponmo processing factories on a wetland in the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and the Iba Local Council Development Area.”
Hopefully, Lambo’s report will help build the initiative to ban and halt the practice. However, change comes very slowly in Nigeria, and it may be some time before this unbelievable practice is halted. In the meantime, anyone travelling to the country should beware of trying street food called Ponmo or Awo.
Source: Punch Nigeria