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Donkey remains irk Bulawayo residents

by Staff reporter
01 Feb 2024 at 04:57hrs | Views
RESIDENTS of Cowdray Park in Bulawayo have raised a red flag over fresh donkey parts found in the suburb, raising suspicions that the animals could have been stolen from surrounding areas and slaughtered for meat.

The meat is suspected to have found a market in the city where illegal food vendors could be selling it to unsuspecting consumers.

Of late, there has been an influx of street vendors selling meat on the pavements in the city centre.

On Sunday, residents of the sprawling suburb woke up to the disturbing sight of the donkey carcasses.

Some residents took pictures and circulated the images on their WhatsApp groups to alert communities about buying strange meat.

"This is a serious issue and authorities must take action. This is not the first time we have discovered donkey carcasses, and we strongly suspect that there are poachers or even residents that are killing these animals and then selling the meat to vendors," said Mr Thabani Dube, a resident.

"Yesterday morning we discovered a mutilated donkey with missing body parts save for the head and intestines. Some residents discovered a slaughtered donkey in a bushy area along the way to Hlalani Kuhle Garikai area."

Another resident who declined to be named said: "I don't know how we can deal with this issue of people selling meat, especially around the new stands area where there are a lot of vendors operating. The meat looks like beef because of its red colour, but I suspect it could be donkey meat."

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said while they had not received any report, members of the public should desist from buying unregulated meat products.

"We have not received any report to that effect, but we urge members of the public to desist from buying meat in the streets as it is a health hazard. People should buy meat from registered butcheries," he said.

Cowdray Park legislator Arthur Mujeyi said he intends to engage residents over the issue.

"I heard the reports and measures will soon be taken to address the issue. For now, I cannot comment further as I am in  Parliament but I will ensure that I get back to you once we engage with residents "

A Veterinary Services Department official, who declined to be named, said the consumption of such meat could pose serious health risks such as contracting unknown diseases.

 "This is a serious cause for concern that all stakeholders should attend to. Soon we will be learning of human deaths caused by unknown diseases that they could have contracted from these cheap meat products.

"As you know, when there is an outbreak, we cannot say we have eradicated the disease, but we keep receiving cases. Donkeys are hardly affected  by this disease but they have their own diseases that they suffer from and consuming the meat may be harmful to humans," he said.

In 2017 the department warned the public against consuming dog meat.

This was after Bulawayo City Council raided a homeless Bulawayo man, identified only as Ndebele, who was selling dog meat from carcasses taken from a municipal dump site.

The man had been skinning the carcasses of dogs that would have been put down by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

The department said the meat is dangerous as it is not inspected for human consumption fitness anywhere in Zimbabwe.

Source - The Chronicle