Public Alert Issued on Poison Outbreak in Trade Animals at Kwara State Market
Public Alert Issued on Poison Outbreak in Trade Animals at Kwara State Market

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

Public Alert Issued on Poison Outbreak in Trade Animals at Kwara State Market

According to a statement by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Temitope Fashedemi, on Thursday, May 23, 2024, several deaths in the herd were reported. Affected animals showed symptoms like excessive salivation, weakness, and inability to stand.

A report from the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development indicated that the herd mortality occurred on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Investigations revealed that the animals had grazed on forage treated with organophosphate chemicals.

The report stated that the symptoms observed were excessive salivation, weakness, and recumbency. In response, herders slaughtered seven of the severely affected animals for public consumption, posing serious public health risks.

"There is a Rapid Response Team (RRT) in every state, consisting of Federal Epidemiology Officers, State Directors of Veterinary Services, and State Epidemiology Officers, trained by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security for such emergencies," the statement continued.

In this case, the RRT in Kwara State, in collaboration with the State Government’s task force, quickly traced and confiscated the meat from the slaughtered animals and disposed of it safely.

The report added that 40 suspected poisoned animals were treated with organophosphate antidotes and showed significant improvement.

Other actions taken included:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting the abattoir where the carcasses were processed.
  • Issuing public awareness about the dangers of consuming meat from affected animals.
  • Collecting blood and tissue samples for laboratory testing.

To prevent future incidents, the Ministry advises the public that:

  1. Consuming contaminated meat and animal products, especially with organophosphates, is dangerous.
  2. Meat should be purchased from certified locations like registered abattoirs and meat shops.
  3. Meat from dead animals should not be consumed.
  4. A withdrawal period of 14-21 days should be observed after applying drugs or chemicals to animals before they are deemed safe for consumption.
  5. Dead animals should be properly disposed of by veterinarians and environmental health officers.
  6. Report any diseased or suspected diseased animals to the nearest veterinary clinic.
  7. Notify communities before applying chemicals on farmlands to prevent grazing animals from being exposed.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security assures the public that it will continue to collaborate with State Veterinary Services to ensure best practices in veterinary and agricultural safety, enhancing animal welfare and ensuring the availability of safe food of animal origin.

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