Midlands residents resort to buying meat from streets

THE Veterinary Services Department has warned people against consuming meat sold from the streets, adding they risk consuming a contaminated product.

This comes at a time where a number of consumers have resorted to buying basic commodities from the streets following unwarranted price increases.

In an interview, Midlands Provincial Veterinary Officer Dr Martin Sibanda said some of the meat being sold on the streets could be from animals which died of diseases or unknown causes.

“As a warning to farmers and particularly the consumers, don’t buy meat from the streets because at times those animals would have died from various ailments that could be transmitted to humans. Do not use your eyes to judge and assess the meat, every meat must be inspected by health personnel. We know it’s hard to just throw away the whole animal when it dies, especially in these hard times, but put your health first because there is a danger of diseases being transmitted from contaminated meat to consumers,” he said.

Dr Sibanda said in Midlands, most cases of uninspected meat sales have been observed in Gokwe North.

“In the past two to three weeks, there was an anthrax outbreak in Gokwe. What was observed by veterinary officers when they went to the ground is that people were consuming the meat and no procedures of burning and burying cattle that died from the disease were followed. 

As a result, there was an upsurge of cases of people being treated of anthrax at clinics. Because the animals were dying in large numbers, some farmers resorted to selling that contaminated meat at the local business area to such an extent that we had to withdraw all permits from that area to make sure that no animal movement was authorised.”

Dr Sibanda said following an anthrax outbreak, the department vaccinated close to 14 000 cattle to contain the disease. A couple of months ago, Zvishavane was hit by a black leg outbreak while Shurugwi was hit by foot and mouth and hundreds of cattle were affected.