• Monday, June 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FG raises alarm on poisoned beef in Kwara cattle market

businessday-icon

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has raised the alarm on the outbreak of poison in meat traded at the Mandate Cattle Market, located near College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies at Adewole, Ilorin, Kwara State.

The government also warned citizens to desist from buying and consuming carcases of dead animals from unregulated markets.

According to a statement signed by Peter Temitope Fashedemi, permanent secretary in the ministry Thursday, the advisory follows a report from the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The statement revealed that herds of cattle died mysteriously in the market on Saturday, April 20, 2024 and the outcome of investigation revealed that the animals had grazed on the forage that was fumigated with organophosphate chemical prior to the incident.

The report further stated that clinical signs observed were hypersalivation, weakness, and recumbency.

On noticing this, the herders decided to slaughter 7 of the most affected animals for public consumption with severe public health risks, the authorities revealed.

“It is important to note however, that there is a Rapid Response Team (RRT) in every state of the Federation, made up of Federal Epidemiology Officer, State Director, Veterinary Services and State Epidemiology Officer, who have been adequately trained by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security for emergency situations such as this,” Fashedemi said in the statement.

“In this particular instance, the RRT in Kwara State in collaboration with the State Government’s task force, swiftly swung into action to trace and confiscate the meat from the slaughtered animal; these were subsequently disposed in an environmentally friendly manner.

“The report added that 40 suspected poisoned animals were treated with organophosphate antidotes, and they responded with marked improvement in their health, leading to recovery”

Other actions taken included cleaning and disinfection of the abattoir that the carcasses were dressed, public awareness on the danger of consuming the meat from affected slaughter animals as well as collection of blood and tissue samples for laboratory testing and analysis, the statement added

The permanent secretary further warned that to avert future occurrence of this bad and hazardous agricultural practice: there is danger in consuming unwholesome meat and other food of animal origin, especially contaminated with organophosphate, Meat for human consumption should be purchased at registered, government/private approved spots such as abattoirs, slaughter slabs, meat shops, etc. Such products must have been certified wholesome and and fit for consumption by a registered veterinarian.

He added that “Meats from dead animals is unwholesome and should not be consumed, noting that with a withdrawal period of 14 -21 days after injection, ingestion and / or application of drugs or chemicals preparation on animals should be strictly observed before products from such animals are certified for consumption.

“Dead animals should be properly disposed of with the aid of veterinarians and environmental health officers, Report and diseased animals or suspected to be diseased to the nearest veterinary clinics/hospital or animal health services providers and People who may have genuine reason to apply chemicals on open farmlands or fields should please notify their host communities to avoid grazing animals on such fields for at least one week”

The statement further informed that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security wishes to assure the general public that it will, through its Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services continue to work with States Veterinary Service in synergy to ensure that best veterinary and agricultural practices are observed especially for disease, agricultural pests and hazard prevention and control, with the professional motive of enhancing Animal Welfare and ensuring availability of wholesome food of animal origin.