Tsirang dratshang yesterday proposed the Dzongkhag Tshogdu (DT) to relocate the abattoir and to minimise animal slaughter.
Tsirang’s Namgyal Choling Rabdey’s secretary, Lhab Tshering, said that the current abattoir was in the middle of settlement in Gosarling gewog.
Although closure might not be possible, relocation and minimising killings was what the dratshang is pushing for, he said. “We need support from the DT to make this possible – relocate the abattoir for the benefit of all.”
However, the tshogdu members were not in favour of the proposal.
Mendrelgang gup, Yeshi, said that the issue of relocating the abattoir away from settlement was raised several times in the past DTs.
“The existing location is the owner’s private land and it is best kept there,” he said.
The abattoir in Tsirang is the country’s only abattoir. It was established in 2006 following approval from the then Dzongkhag Yargay Tshogchung (DYT). In 2012, people of Gosarling gewog lodged several complaints against the establishment.
Dzongkhag livestock officer, Dorji Wangchuk, said that people complained about having a lhakhang in the vicinity and the abattoir polluting drinking water source nearby, among others.
The issue was thoroughly discussed in the DT in 2012.
“Most members then discussed in favour of keeping the abattoir, provided hygiene was maintained, ” Dorji Wangchuk said.
The abattoir and the process of producing meat is strictly monitored in consultation with the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority.
The dzongkhag administration has not included beef production in its livestock production target for the 12th Plan.
The abattoir produces at least 550kgs of beef a day. The quantity increases depending on demand from hotels in Thimphu and other dzongkhags.
The issue will be discussed again in the next DT after a detailed study on the impact of the abattoir in the community.
Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang