By Staff Reporter
THE government has called upon members of the public to alert authorities if they have evidence of unscrupulous businesses selling meat from condemned cattle dying from diseases such as foot and mouth or anthrax.
Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri said government had noted reports that some people were selling meat which was not fit for human consumption.
He said authorities had carried out investigations and not found any concrete evidence to enable police to arrest and prosecute the offenders.
“No report has been received to the effect infected cattle is being bought and sold by butcheries in Mhondoro,” Shiri told journalists during a Post Cabinet briefing.
“We have two to three extension workers and no report has been received especially from Mhondoro and that now casts doubt on the authenticity of those reports, nevertheless we have however taken heed of those reports.
“We have issued out an instruction to the effect that no cattle from disease affected areas should be slaughtered for sell, livestock can be accessed from other regions which are free from the diseases.”
The social media has been awash this week that one of the country’s leading abattoir and butchery was buying disease ravaged cattle for resell as meat at its shops.
However, Shiri was quick to dismiss the reports.
“Whenever slaughter takes place we have meat inspectors and whatever is found to be unsuitable for human consumption is destroyed on the spot, there and then and once the meat leaves the abattoirs, it becomes the responsibility of the Ministry of Health.”
Shiri told journalists that his ministry and the Health Ministry were working as joint teams inspecting meat in all butcheries to identify if such allegations are concrete.
He appealed to citizens with relevant information to report such matters specifying time, date and place of occurrence without generalising as some of the areas are too large.
Zimbabwe has recorded a high number of cattle deaths due to foot and mouth, anthrax and the January diseases.