Best practices against beef measles

Taking in cardboard or waste, and drinking contaminated water, can lead to measles in cattle.

11 September 2019 | Agriculture

Beef measles (Cysticercus bovis) is a cause for concern in the livestock industry as it causes losses in foreign markets, such as the European Union, which do not accept infected meat. The disease is a serious food safety concern and could have huge economic effects on the industry.

According to Meatco, beef measles causes fluid-filled cysts that contain small, immature tapeworms the size of a small pea. The cysts occur mainly in the very active muscles of the jaw, tongue, heart, shoulder and diaphragm of cattle and are rarely found elsewhere.

There are no visible signs of the disease and it can only be detected after slaughter when the meat is inspected. The result is that the meat cannot be sold into the local or foreign market. Even though Namibia has a low prevalence rate of about 3%, the disease cannot be taken lightly as it can cripple the livestock industry, says Meatco.

According to Meatco's senior manager of quality assurance, Dr Adrianatus Maseke, some causes of measles are as mundane as letting cattle come into contact with old car batteries not disposed of properly, consuming waste/sewerage water or even consuming cardboard.

“Deworming workers on the farm or any facilities where livestock is handled can make a big difference. There is no known drug that can cure beef measles; deworming only helps,” says Maseke.

From a public and animal health perspective, it is very important for farmers to continue taking good care of their animals. When an animal dies, it is important to dispose of the carcass so that other animals do not come into contact with it, to prevent any contamination or transmission.

It is important for farmers to adhere to the provisions of the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, especially in light of reports that some farmers are using sewerage water, instead of clean water, to grow lucerne, which is frowned upon from both an animal and public health point of view.

Beef measles appears as small white cysts which can be seen in the animal's muscles at slaughter. These cysts are usually found during a post-mortem inspection, where multiple incisions are made on the predilection sites of the jaw, tongue, heart, diaphragm and shoulder muscles. According to Meatco there is no licensed drug available that kills all the cysticerci in muscle, or any anthelmintic (medicine used to destroy parasitic worms) that has proven effective, even with regular use.

It is therefore important to prevent infection, since the condition does not exhibit clinical signs.

Meatco says there are several actions producers can take to reduce or eliminate the risk of measles in cattle.

These include avoiding faecal contamination of cattle feed and grazing areas. Farmworkers and visitors should also practice good hygiene and access by cattle to pastures infected with human waste should be avoided.

Producers should further sell their cattle to an abattoir where competent meat inspection is practised so that infected carcasses can be detected before the meat is taken to the market.

“Do not buy meat from informal (unregistered) butchers because it may not have been inspected and may contain measles. Even for social events at home, it is best to have your meat slaughtered at abattoirs where it is properly inspected,” says Meatco.

STAFF REPORTER

Similar News

 

Massive food project mooted

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Agriculture

A family trust that has been involved in missionary work among vulnerable youth, women, and children since the pre-independence years is planning three large-scale agriculture...

FMD ban still in place

5 days ago - 13 November 2019 | Agriculture

The agriculture ministry has reaffirmed that a ban on imports of meat and meat products from South Africa is still in place after the neighbouring...

New strategies needed for livestock sector

1 week ago - 07 November 2019 | Agriculture

New strategies need to be formulated to address the shortcomings in the livestock farming sector and prepare it for the future. A competitive analysis of...

41% of Namibians want land seized

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Agriculture

JEMIMA BEUKES About 41% of Namibians want the government to expropriate land without any compensation, the latest Afrobarometer report has found.This...

'Rather farm with goats'

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Agriculture

Keetmanshoop Rural constituency councillor Elias Kharuxab says farmers should start breeding more with goats, as they survive on shrubs and have a high chance to...

New Meatco board members nominated

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Agriculture

Meatco held a special members' meeting last Friday where close to 247 producers attended to nominate new directors for the organisation. Agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb,...

Baillères unrepentant on Erindi jobs

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Agriculture

The trade ministry is reviewing approval by the Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) for the sale of the 71 000-hectare Erindi Private Game Reserve to Mexican...

Planting the seed in youth

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Agriculture

Ester KamatiOn 31 October, a group of young people flocked to the third floor of the Sanlam building, where they heard, amongst others, the story...

Cattle marketing boon

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Agriculture

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) conditions in South Africa continue to exert a negative influence on Namibian live cattle exports, while drought-induced marketing and competitive prices offered...

Eco-warriors!

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Agriculture

Private School Swakopmund hosted its Entrepreneur Day recently. Each grade had their own business to market and products to sell. This year one of the...

Latest News

August 26 CEO innovates

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph ...

Fishing quotas under scrutiny

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Fishing

President Hage Geingob and acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana will meet next week to discuss the credibility of the fishing quota allocation process, as well...

Geingob was 'talked out of'...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob had written dismissal letters for ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau on Wednesday morning, but a high-level meeting that included Vice-president Nangolo...

Helping people help themselves

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarjolize Scholtz has been a wellness professional for over 17 years. During her career her empathy towards people has grown immensely. Scholtz was...

Putting on a corporate...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Margaret Thatcher once quipped that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Langford...

Fuelled by ­creativity

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk “Every challenge is put on your path to groom you and build you and if I had the opportunity to change something...

A musician at heart

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know...

EVMs in the firing line

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Politics

Independent president candidate Panduleni Itula, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo will square off in the electoral court on Tuesday, 19 November over...

Unshackling the toothless ACC

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said about the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the years. Many have called it toothless.Revelations this week that it has been sitting on...

Load More