Skyline University Nigeria

Modernization of Nigerian Abattoirs is the need of the hour

According to one estimate, the global protein ingredients market size is projected to surpass around US$ 114.6 billion by 2030 [1]. Meat is a major source of protein that is in high demand all over the world. The increased demand for high-protein foods has resulted from the world’s growing population. This demand is felt more acutely in developing countries such as Nigeria. Every day millions of people across the globe depend on meat supply from abattoirs. In Nigeria, over 1.3 million cows are slaughtered yearly, as cattle alone provide about 30 percent of the meat consumed in the country [2].

A slaughterhouse, also called an abattoir, is a facility where animals are slaughtered to provide animal meat for human consumption. The Kano abattoir, which is located in the metropolis Wambai quarters, is one of the state’s primary meat processing facilities, from which raw meat products are processed and supplied across the state’s 44 Local Government Areas, as well as neighboring states and countries The abattoir in Kano is almost 60 years old [3]. Kano abattoir was built in 1963 by Sir Ahmadu Ibrahim Bello the late premier of Northern Nigeria. At the time of the abattoir construction, butchery was not considered to be a serious business; however, it had state-of-the-art facilities at that time. But because of the cultural and religious practices the machines installed were never put to use. Later, when the demand for meat increased there was tremendous pressure exerted on this abattoir which lacked the facilities of modern slaughter house such as mechanical slaughtering and cold storage etc. Demand was voiced for an alternative slaughterhouse. The first governor of Kano State Audu Bako attempted to shift the abattoir to another location with better facilities but the butchers refused to relocate to the facility due to ignorance of the long-term benefits. As a result the Kano abattoir still functions without modern slaughtering facilities [4].

An effort was made to evaluate the sanitary conditions of the Kano slaughterhouse [5]. The investigation aimed to assess the hygiene and sanitary conditions prevailing in the abattoir. The study indicated the condition of the slaughterhouse to be very poor. Due to the heavy load of slaughtering and the non-adoption of modern technology the condition of the slaughterhouse has become very filthy (figure 1).  Due to its highly nutritive nature carcass is prone to microbial infection if not processed properly, which lead to deterioration in meat quality, and even can cause food poisoning. Few samples that were collected from the abattoir site for microbial analysis indicated the presence of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella, Salmonella typhii and Streptococcus pyogenes. Among the microbes isolated, Staphylococcus aureus had the highest percentage of occurrence of (27%) while Proteus mirabilis had the least percentage of occurrence of (3%).



There is an urgent need for the modernization of the Kano abattoir. Drastic changes had happened in the last 50 years and demand for meat has increased many folds. Without adopting modern methods it is very difficult for slaughterhouses to keep quality standards. A few slaughterhouses were recently closed by the Government due to the unhygienic environment in which they operate [6]. The financial implication because of eating contaminated food is a huge and serious health concern. The outbreak of certain infectious diseases such as cholera, brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis, and other parasitic worms can be directly linked with contaminated meat consumption. It is high time to initiate a serious discussion with all the stakeholders to highlight the importance of providing good quality meat for the consumers.


  1. Food and Beverages – Protein Ingredients Market.
  2. Akinfenwa G. Risking contaminated meals over unsanitary abattoirs, poor meat processing. The Guardian 2022, 13 February.
  3. Ngbokai RP. Kano abattoir in dire need of modern facilities. Daily Trust 2019, 09 Jan.
  4. Ngbokai RP. State of 58-Year-Old Kano abattoir. Daily Trust 2021, 21 March.
  5. Ali Z S. Assessment of operational facilities and sanitary practices in a slaughter house in Kano, Nigeria. B.Sc. Dissertation submitted to Skyline University Nigeria, 2022.
  6. Aliyu A. Edo Govt shuts 3 more abattoirs over unhygienic environment. Vanguard 2018, October 11.


Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Pal is a Professor of Biology in Skyline University Nigeria. He has a PhD. in Animal Genetics from Indian Veterinary Research Institute, India.

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