Mpongwe in sick Tanzanian cattle shocker as “Zambeef imports 500 sick cattle”

Secrecy surrounds the importation and subsequent slaughter of 500 diseased cattle from Tanzania into Mpongwe.

Some of the meat was sold for human consumption while the more diseased animals were incinerated.

Medical sources assured the nation that the meat was edible although carcasses containing high levels of antibiotics and medication were a source of concern.

And NAREP President Elias Chipimo has described the act as the highest order of irresponsibility of the PF government without regard to the safety and health of Zambians.

The 500 animals were brought in the country on October 29 last year but started manifesting bovine diseases soon after until they were killed but sold on open market on February 8 under strict orders from the state.

Zambeef was irregularly awarded an importation licence to bring in 500 animals for breeding purposes from Dodoma in Tanzania; an area considered endemic to Contagious Bovine Pleural Pneumonia (CBPP), but ethics were cast aside as the trucks from Zambeef transported the animals to Mpongwe from Tanzania without the knowledge of some senior veterinary officers in Lusaka.

NAREP president Elias Chipimo said his party has learnt with grave concern about the scheme by government to introduce disease in the country by importing disease infected animals in the country.

He said it was a danger to the entire nation and animals adding that the complete silence on the issue by government was because of fear of election campaign going on in the area adding that the silence will however jeopardize the lives of the citizens.

“We know that government has instructed officials in the police and agriculture department to maintain a complete silence on the matter for fear that this is going to jeopardize their campaign promises in Mpongwe but this is the worst kind of ruling that you can get ahead of human life” he said.

Zambeef imported 500 diseased animals from Tanzania  in October last year and in February started killing them after they started manifesting bovine diseases.

Several veterinary officers in Mpongwe who asked not to be identified acknowledged the presence and killing of the animal and said government did not follow the laid down procedures of not importing animals from diseases infested area.

“Yes, the animals came in October last year and in February some of the animals started looking sick. We were instructed to kill them to stop the disease from spreading out the outlying areas. Some of them were burnt” said one Vet officer who asked not to be named.

Several residents in the constituency including security officers at the Zambeef offices in Mpongwe confirmed that huge amounts of animal beef that was being down loaded on the market after the 500 animals from Tanzania were killed.