Beef measles panic grips Botswana

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

BOTSWANA Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture Mr Pa­trick Ralot­sia says cases of measles are es­ca­lat­ing and may se­ri­ously im­pact on that coun­try’s beef in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Mmegi, one of the news­pa­pers in Botswana, Ralot­sia said the Botswana Meat Com­mis­sion records a six per­cent loss in all the cat­tle it re­ceives for slaugh­ter due to the dis­ease.

He added that the most af­fected are cat­tle from com­mu­nal ar­eas es­pe­cially those around the Ngami area.

Ralot­sia noted that the rate of af­fec­tion in ar­eas around Lake Ngami area reaches as much as 13 per­cent of the cat­tle.

The min­is­ter said the dis­ease that cat­tle pick from hu­man waste can­not be de­tected in a liv­ing an­i­mal, but ev­i­dence of it only shows af­ter slaugh­ter.

“This is a se­ri­ous threat to our beef in­dus­try. We need the na­tion to know that the dis­ease is a threat to the beef mar­ket be­cause no­body will be in­ter­ested to buy beef that is per­sis­tently pro­nounced to have measles,” he was quoted as say­ing.

Ralot­sia added that with Botswana be­ing the best beef pro­ducer in Africa, it calls for strate­gies that will erad­i­cate the dis­ease com­pletely so that the coun­try’s stand­ing is not af­fected.

How­ever, he said the dis­ease sit­u­a­tion in Botswana has not reached cri­sis level yet but it is head­ing there.

He said the gov­ern­ment will soon em­bark on a cam­paign to sen­si­tise peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in the con­trol of the dis­ease.

“There must be a strat­egy in place to con­trol the dis­ease and Botswana has a good record in terms of erad­i­cat­ing an­i­mal diseases and the same is pos­si­ble with measles,” he said.— Mmegi .

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