Infected beef hits the market as tick-borne disease wreaks havoc in Zimbabwe

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ROUGE beef traders are reportedly making a killing, buying infected live beasts at even less than ZWL100, later sneaking the meat into butcheries for sale, in the process placing at risk beef consumers’ lives.

The outbreak of Theileriosis — a tick-borne disease across the country due to the extreme hot weather conditions – has forced beef prices down in many butcheries round the country.

Recently, beef prices had peaked to between ZWL80 and ZWL120 in Harare’s central business district (CBD) and to between ZWL60 and ZWL80 in the capital’s high density suburbs.

A survey by Zim Morning Post on Monday in Seke, Chitungziwa, revealed that butchery owners had turned nearby rural areas into hunting ground for sickly and infected cattle whose meat they would sale in their buctheries.

Panicky farmers have tended to quickly dispose of such cattle in order to defray loses.

Some renowned supermarkets are also said to be selling the ‘infected’ beef.

At Montana Meats in the Harare’s CBD for instance, a kilogram of beef, which before would sale at between ZWL75 and ZWL99, was reportedly now trading at between ZWL68 and ZWL75.

At Ziko in Dema, a kilogram was as cheap as ZWL40 and ZWL58, down from between ZWL55 and ZWL68 per kilogram previously.

Tafara Shumba, executive director of Veterinarians for Livelihood Development Trust, said it was unfortunate that such uncouth practices had permeated the business community.

“It is sad and alarming that there are people who are putting profit ahead of public safety, considering that there are several diseases that can be communicated and transmitted from animals to humans,“ Shumba said.

“It is disturbing that such things are happening in our communities, particularly after the country recorded deaths after some people ingested anthrax-infected meat in some districts,” he added.

“Farmers and retailers should strictly adhere to regulations pertaining to the slaughter and consumption of beasts in the country and all diseased animals, whether dead or alive, must never be consumed as such practice is detrimental to human life. Even the prevailing coronavirus is suspected to have emerged from sick and infected animals,” Shumba warned.

— Zim Morning Post


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