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Poison In Trade Animals @ Kwara Cattle Market, Agric Ministry Alerts Public

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is alerting the general public about an outbreak of poison in trade animals at Mandate Cattle Market near the College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies in Adewole, Ilorin, Kwara State.

According to the report from the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, there was a mortality in the herd at this market on Saturday, April 20, 2024. The investigation revealed that the animals had grazed on forage that was fumigated with organophosphate chemical prior to the incident.

The reported clinical signs observed were hypersalivation, weakness and recumbency. Upon noticing this, the herders decided to slaughter seven of the very weakly affected animals for public consumption.

This poses public health risks, and the consequences may be severe in the food chain.

It is important to note, however, that there is a rapid response team (RRT) in every state of the Federation, made up of a Federal Epidemiology Officer, state director of 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.

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 animals, which was subsequently disposed of 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 where the carcasses were dressed, creation of public awareness on the danger of consuming the meat from affected slaughter animals and collection of blood and tissue samples for laboratory testing and analysis.

To avert the future occurrence of this hazardous agricultural practice, the ministry informed the general public that, “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 fit for consumption by a registered veterinarian.

“Meat from dead animals is unwholesome and should not be consumed.

“With a withdrawal period of 14 – 21 days after injection, ingestion and / or application of drugs or chemical preparations 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 any diseased animals or those suspected to be diseased to the nearest veterinary clinics/hospital or animal health services providers.

“People who may have a 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 ministry said.

A statement by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mr. Peter Fashedemi said the ministry assures the general public that it will, through its department of veterinary and pest control services, continue to work with state veterinary services in synergy to ensure that the 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 the availability of wholesome food of animal origin.

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