Beef measles panic grips Botswana
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 .