Abia State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prof Ikechi Mgboji has warned residents of Abia residents to desist from eating cow lungs in order not to contract Bovine Tuberculosis As cows test positive for Bovine Tuberculosis in Abia.
Prof Mgboji who disclosed this in Aba, said the warning is important following the discovery of some cows infected with bovine tuberculosis, a cow disease which causes a general state of illness manifesting later with coughing and resulting in eventual death of the affected mammal.
Bovine Tuberculosis is a chronic animal disease caused by a bacteria called mycobacterium bovis (M.bovis) related to the bacteria causing avian and human tuberculosis and can affect all mammals.
Mgboji said: “Part of our work in this ministry is that any cow offered for public consumption is usually examined by veterinary doctors. “About two weeks ago, two of such cows when killed were found to have Bovine Tuberculosis (M.bovine) and there is no way to know a cow is with such a diseases unless they are either killed or tested.So, we decided to alert people who eat beef to stop eating the lungs of cows for now but they may eat the flesh.
“They should stop eating that particular organ for now until we are able to determine if it is a very exceptional case or a prevalent case.” he said. Mgboji said that his ministry had alerted all veterinary doctors who visit the abattoirs in the state to watch out for such disease manifestation to determine its spread and safeguard lives.
He also noted that the Abia agriculture ministry had alerted cow dealers in the state to be aware of the discovery and to allow their cows to be tested to safeguard the lives of beef consumers.
The Commissioner lamented that the cow dealers have not been showing interest in having their cows tested to determine their fitness for human consumption, adding that their quest for profit is a threat to human health.
He called on the Board of Internal Revenue in the state to always send professionals trained in veterinary medicine to inspect meats in abattoirs.
He warned against using non professionals in the inspection of meat meant for consumption by the public, stating that such poses health hazard to the people.