FG issues warning over poisonous meat in Kwara

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, on Thursday, issued an alert over the outbreak of poison at the cattle market near the College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies, Adewole, Ilorin, Kwara State.

It said a report from the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development stated that mortality in herd occurred at the market on April 20, 2024, adding that the outcome of the investigation revealed that animals had grazed on the forage that was fumigated with organophosphate chemical before the incident.

“The report further stated that clinical signs observed were hypersalivation, weakness, and recumbency. On noticing this, the herders decided to slaughter seven of the very weakly affected animals for public consumption.

“This has public health risks, and the consequences may be very severe in the food chain,” the FMAFS said in a statement issued in Abuja.

It, however, stated that there is a Rapid Response Team 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 emergencies 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 animal. These were 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,” the ministry stated.

The ministry explained, “To avert the future occurrence of this bad and hazardous agricultural practice, the ministry wishes to inform the general public that: i. there is danger in consuming unwholesome meat and other food of animal origin, especially contaminated with organophosphate.

“ii. 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.

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

“v. Dead animals should be properly disposed of with the aid of veterinarians and environmental health officers. vi. Report diseased animals or suspected to be diseased to the nearest veterinary clinics/hospital or animal health services providers.”

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