The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, has insisted that Nigerians should stop eating animal hides, also known as ponmo, bush meat, and dead animals “you did not kill.”
ADULAWO NEWS reports that the warning is coming after the Federal Government discovered anthrax in a farm in Niger State.
The first case of the disease outbreak was confirmed on a multi-specie animal farm comprising cattle, sheep, and goats in Suleja, Niger State.
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Anthrax is a severe bacterial disease that affects humans and animals, including wild animals and livestock such as cows, pigs, camels, sheep, and goats.
The bacteria, which exist as spores, can be found in the soil, wool, or hair of infected animals. It affects humans through eating and direct contact with infected animals and breathing in the spores, which is “the deadliest form of the disease.”
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Symptoms in animals include high fever, weakness, loss of appetite, bleeding from all body openings (nose, mouth, ears, anus, etc.), swelling and difficulty in breathing, and bloody diarrhoea.
Speaking in an interview with Vanguard, Adetifa asked people not to eat sick or dead animals at all.
The NCDC boss also warned people working in ponmo processing factories that they are at high risk of anthrax.
He said: “What we are saying is do not eat sick animals at all. Sick animals contain anthrax, and animals that have died from anthrax contain anthrax. Anthrax is present in their skin, hair, and meat. The people who work with hides and skin are at risk of anthrax if it came from a dead animal.
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“At this point in time that we have a confirmed case, we are saying look out for the meat that you buy.
“If you like bush meat, this could be a time to take a break from it, particularly if you don’t catch it yourself. For livestock, we ask that they be properly inspected, and people who own animals should not take sick animals for slaughter.”