Contaminated meat scare hits Minna

By Ummi Ismaeel,

Minna

Fear of contaminated beef in circulation in major markets within Minna, the Niger State capital, and environs, has enveloped residents of the metropolis.

  Already, many residents have jettisoned cow meat for fish and chicken to avoid contacting disease.

   Restaurants and eateries’ operators within the metropolis and environs are recording low patronage while few others are cooking with chicken and fish to retain customers when the rumour about contaminated beef broke out.

  Some of the butchers, who spoke on the development, lamented how the rumour has affected their sales and therefore want the state government to be specific on the source of the said contaminated meat.

   Meanwhile, Niger State government on Wednesday confirmed the slaughtering and circulation of contaminated meat to major markets in the state and advised those behind the act to desist due to inherent danger such meats could pose to millions of Nigerlites who depend on beef for daily protein intake.

   Niger State Commissioner for Livestock and Fisheries, Malam Zakari Bawa, who blamed butchers and cattle rearers for the trend, said, “During the Sallah celebration, a man bought two rams; he decided to rear one and slaughter the other. But few weeks after, while feeding the animal it was shrinking in size instead of growing fatter.

  “The state government discovered that some scrupulous elements are inducing and slaughtering contaminated animals.

  “This is due to the rise in population because of the increase in demand of meat for consumption these wicked people resorted to using drugs especially antibiotics and crude methods to fatten the animals”.

Zakari Bawa said, “Our statistics shows that, between 800 and 1,000 each of cattle, sheep and goats and over 5,000 chickens are slaughtered daily. Ideally, Veterinary Drugs or Veterinary Medicinal Products (VMPs) are critically needed to meet the challenges of providing safe and adequate amounts of food.

  “The use of veterinary drugs in food producing animals, especially when it is wrongly applied or overdose has the potentials to generate residues which could pose serious danger to end consumer’s health”.

  The commissioner further hinted that, “Inducing these animals pose grave and dangerous health hazards to the consumer and increases the cost of maintaining human health care due to problems of drug resistance by infections disease causing organisms”.

  He further hinted that drugs used for cattle or animals generally can affect humans because of their secretion in edible animal tissues in trace amounts usually called residues either direct and short term hazards or indirect and long term hazards.

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