The Oyo State Government, on Tuesday, sensitized butchers and livestock dealers on the deadly anthrax disease, as it strengthens surveillance of abattoirs for detection and prevention of the animal disease.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Barr. Olasunkanmi Olaleye said it is part of the State Government’s efforts to forestall the outbreak of anthrax disease in the state.
According to him, anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacteria – Bacillus anthracis. It occurs naturally in the soil and affects domestic and wild animals.
He said people can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.
Barr. Olaleye said the awareness was to inform stakeholders, especially butchers, cattle dealers/sellers, and consumers, on the need to guard against anthrax disease.
The Commissioner stated that there was currently no suspected or confirmed case of anthrax in the state. Rather, preventive measures must be adhered to.
He said the essence of the sensitisation was to create awareness on the preventive and control measures to tackle the menace of anthrax.
According to him, butchers and cattle dealers/sellers need to know the symptoms of anthrax disease and how to prevent it.
“The state government under the leadership of Engr. Seyi Makinde has put every machinery in place with necessary stakeholders to curtail the outbreak of the anthrax. Part of it is that information has been sent to all veterinary doctors and directors of agriculture across the 33 local governments in the state to be on red alert”.
The Commissioner, however, called on the association of butchers, cattle dealers, and cattle sellers to support the government’s effort in preventing anthrax by ensuring that the cattle to be slaughtered were well observed by the veterinary Doctors.
He also advised the general public to be cautioned on animals they consume, having in mind that the disease can only be contracted through animals.
The Commissioner said the deadly disease that had claimed some lives was a bacteria disease that affects both animals and man.
Speaking on the Anthrax disease, the Deputy Director, Veterinarians Services, Dr. Mrs. Mofoluwake Ibitoye said anthrax is an infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis that occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals.
According to her, the affected animals would go off feed, weak, may have fever for a while, when it dies, there would be unclotted blood (watery blood) bleeding through all the openings in the body, such as anus, nostrils, mouth and ear. When these are noticed, they should inform the nearest veterinary Doctors or contact the ministry.
She added that the ministry is collaborating with other MDAs to ensure people are fully aware of the disease.
Dr. Ibitoye equally urged butchers and the general public to be cautious and ensure they patronise only government approved abattoir as well as to go for hygienic animals for their consumption.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Butchers Association, Ibadan North Chapter, Mr. Nureni Areo commended the government for being proactive, stressing that the government should ensure total enforcement.
He advised that only Government approved abattoirs in the state should be patronised, urging the government to ensure proper screening of animals before entering the state.
He expressed readiness of the association to support the government.
Places visited for the awareness were Amosun central Abattoir, Lam Adesina International Cattle Market, and Goat sellers market at Akinyele local government, amongst others.
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