Farmers ignore warning eat, sell dead cattle
MALINDZA - Some livestock farmers, whose cattle were killed by hypothermia, have ignored the warning by the Minister of Agriculture, Clement Dlamini, not to eat meat from the dead cattle.
In an interview with the Times last Tuesday, the minister said meat from infected cattle should not be consumed because it is not healthy.
Over 7 000 cattle have been killed by the cold around the country over the past two weeks.
Despite the warning from the minister, some farmers have resolved to eat the meat while others were reportedly selling it to the public.
Gezephi Maziya, a farmer at Malindza, admitted to having eaten meat from one of her three cattle killed by the cold.
"A total of three beasts have been killed since last week and I have already eaten one of them. The other two were found in a decomposed state in the forest so I gave that meat to the dogs," she said. When reminded of the minister’s warning she said, "I believe there is nothing wrong with the meat since I think the cattle were killed by hunger not a dangerous disease like foot and mouth"
Maziya further stated that she did not sell the meat to the public, but prepared it for her family.
Another farmer, who declined to reveal her name, admitted to selling some meat to the community saying she had no choice. "Were you expecting me to simply throw away my beast which could have given me close to E6 000 in the market?" she asked.
When sought for comment, the minister reiterated his warning.
"Farmers should heed the warning I issued and throw that meat away. We all know the procedure when a cow is slaughtered, so why eat meat of cattle that have died of natural causes?" the minister wondered.
Minister Dlamini added that he understood the farmers’ loss, but they had to take all necessary precauti-nons.
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