Anthrax: Stay away from infected animals – Osun govt warns butchers

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By Francis Ezediuno

Osun State Government has sounded a note of warning to butchers in the state to stay away from the animals infected with the deadly disease, anthrax.

The Director, Veterinary Services Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Abosede Olatokun gave the warning during a sensitisation tour to the butchers at Sabo market, Osogbo, the State Capital.

While identifying butchers in the state as one of the major stakeholders in the livestock industry, Olatokun explained that Anthrax is a bacterial infection that affects animal species like cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, pigs and wildlife.

She noted that the present administration prioritises the health and welfare of the people of the state, calling on the butchers to take caution in order not to infect people with the disease.

“The disease has a forming bacterium known as Bacillus anthracis which primarily affects animals which can also affect human beings who come in direct contact with the infected animal either dead or living.”

The Deputy Director in the department, Dr. Joseph Tanimowo revealed that some of the signs that may be seen on an infected animal, which may begin to manifest from 1-8 weeks after exposure to the anthrax spores are fever, chill, cough, muscle aches and weaknesses, chest discomfort and difficulty in breathing.

“Affected animals are usually found dead without any signs of illness. Dark unclothed blood also flows from body openings like the nose, mouth, ear, and anal region of the affected animals, also the carcass does not become stiff after death.”

He counselled the butchers not to touch any animal showing signs of the disease, pointing out that the dead or sick animal should be promptly reported to the veterinary authority for proper action.

He assured that the State Government has made provisions for the treatment of any infected animal that has not gone beyond control.

Responding, Chairman, Osun Butchers Association, Adebimpe Suleiman, appreciated the State Government for taking a proactive measure in curbing the spread of the disease in Osun.

Adebimpe, however, appealed for the provision of a central Abattoir by the state government, adding that having a cattle market in the state will assist both the government and cattle sellers to prevent buying infected animals.

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