Public Alert: Federal Govt Warns Of Poisoned Animals At Kwara Cattle Market

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security issued an urgent public alert on Thursday due to an outbreak of unintentional poisoning in trade animals at the Mandate Cattle Market in the Adewole area of Ilorin, Kwara State.

First detected on April 20, 2024, the incident involved cattle consuming forage contaminated with organophosphate chemicals.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Temitope Fashedemi, issued a statement indicating reported cases of deaths in the herd, with affected animals showing symptoms such as hypersalivation, weakness, and recumbency.

In an effort to reduce losses, herders were reported to have slaughtered seven severely affected animals for public consumption, a situation that presented notable public health dangers.

Addressing the issue, the permanent secretary affirmed that the state’s Rapid Response Team (RRT), composed of federal and state veterinary officers, collaborated with the state government’s task force to identify, seize, and safely dispose of the contaminated meat.

Fashedemi clarified that 40 suspected poisoned animals received treatment with organophosphate antidotes, leading to significant improvements in health and eventual recoveries.

The ministry hence urged the public to refrain from consuming meat and animal products contaminated with organophosphates and to opt for meat from certified sources like registered abattoirs and meat shops, while also avoiding meat from dead animals.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary provided further assurance to the public, stating that the ministry, through its Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, will continue working closely with state veterinary services to uphold exemplary standards of veterinary and agricultural practices throughout the country.