PHOTO:Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
Niger State Government has warned Nigerian to be cautious of meats in circulation that contains steroid applied by local livestock farmers and butchers.
Steroid is used for decreasing inflammation and reducing the activity of the immune system. They are used to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases and conditions.
Niger state commissioner for livestock and fisheries, Zakari Bawa informed journalists about the poisonous meats in circulation after the weekly executive council meeting.
Bawa said the use of steroid for fattening purpose by livestock farmers and butchers with the danger it portends was generating concern to the government.
“Government discovered that some unscrupulous elements are inducing animals and circulating poisonous meat. This is due to the rise in population. Because of the increase in consumption, these wicked people have started using drugs especially antibiotics and crude methods in the animals.”
He said although veterinary drugs were critical to meeting the challenges of providing adequate amounts of food, especially meats, but stated that the use of steroid poses a risk to consumer health.
“Our statistics show that between 800 and 1,000 cattle, sheep and goats are slaughtered, while over 5,000 chickens are consumed daily across the state, which put a greater percentage of consumers at risk of this unwholesome practice,” Bawa said.
“The inducing of these animals pose grave and dangerous health hazards to the consumer and increases the cost of human health care due to problems of drug resistance by infections disease causing organisms”, he explained.
Bawa also disclosed that drugs used in food animals could negatively affect consumer health due to secretion in edible animal tissues which amounts to either direct and short-term hazards or indirect and long-term hazards to human health.
The commissioner said an inter-ministerial committee which comprises the ministry and that of agriculture, health as well as the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) would soon be set up to address the malpractices.
Bawa said that veterinary doctors had been engaged to ensure that only healthy animals were slaughtered for consumption and prevent potential danger in human health.
He warned all livestock farmers and butchers to desist the use of substances in meats as anyone caught would be fined.