The government has dismissed social media reports of contaminated meat on the market as false saying efforts are being undertaken to intensify inspection processes to monitor meat sold in supermarkets and butcheries.
Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri told journalists in yesterday’s post-Cabinet briefing that there were reports that some abattoirs were buying cheap cattle infected with diseases such as anthrax, foot and mouth, and theileriosis.
“But let me also talk about what has been coming out on social media whereby someone was broadcasting that some infected cattle were being slaughtered in Mhondoro and sold to butcheries in towns.
“We have two to three extension workers in every ward and no report has been received to that effect, especially from Mhondoro, and that now casts doubt on the authenticity and reliability of the report,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, retail outlet, Bellevue Abattoir Butchery which was fingered in allegations of purchasing dead and diseased animals has dismissed the social media reports.
In a statement, the butchery claims to be abiding by regulations and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Agriculture in the Veterinary Department .
“We have measures in place that require the veterinary Department to inspect every single animal on arrival to ensure that it’s healthy.
“Each animal is then inspected by the Zimbabwe Republic Police to ensure that it travelled legally and is not stolen. Slaughter then begins after the animal has rested for at least 48 hours.”
“The carcasses are then graded into various grades (Super, choice, commercial, economy, manufacture) by the designated government grader. Carcasses are marked with a roller stamp that identifies the abattoir where the carcass comes from and the grade of beef that passes through the abattoir for slaughter.
“Each animal and its subsequent carcass is recorded by the Veterinary Department before leaving our premises which is all done under CCTV surveillance, of which all records are kept,” read the statement.
The company added that they have their own supply from their farms that feed into their abattoirs.
“Furthermore, we have our own supply from our farms that feed into our abattoirs excellent quality beef that is fed for at least 90 days with highest grade of feeds.”