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FG Alerts Public Over Poisoned Animals At Kwara Cattle Market

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Summary : The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, on Thursday, issued an urgent public alert following an outbreak of unintentional poisoning in trade animals at the Mandate Cattle Market located at Adewole area of Ilorin, Kwara State. The incident, which was first noticed on April 20, 2024, involved cattle that grazed on forage contaminated with organophosphate chemicals. According to a statement issued by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Temitope Fashedemi, there were reported reported cases of deaths in the herd, with affected animals displaying symptoms such as hypersalivation, weakness, and recumbency. In an attempt to mitigate losses, herders were said to have slaughtered seven severely affected animals for public consumption, a development that posed serious public health risks. In response, the permanent secretary stated that the state’s Rapid Response Team (RRT), comprising federal and state veterinary officers, collaborated with the state government’s task force to trace, confiscate, and dispose off the contaminated meat safely. He explained that 40 suspected poisoned animals were treated with organophosphate antidotes, resulting in marked health improvements and recoveries. The ministry, therefore, advised the public to avoid consuming meat and animal products contaminated with organophosphates and to buy meat from certified sources, such as registered abattoirs and meat shops and refrain from consuming meat from dead animals. Other preventive measures include; observe a withdrawal period of 14-21 days after administering drugs or chemicals to animals before consumption, dispose of dead animals properly under the guidance of veterinarians, reporting any diseased or suspected diseased animals to veterinary clinics or health service providers and to notify local communities before applying chemicals on open farmlands to prevent grazing for at least one week. Fashedemi further reassured the public that the ministry, through its Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, will continue to collaborate with state veterinary services to ensure the highest standards of veterinary and agricultural practices in the country. (LEADERSHIP)

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