ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwean authorities have escalated the operations that aim to control the slaughter of sick animals and the sale of uninspected meat to the country’s consumers, dubbed Nyama Yabvepi.

The operation that was first launched at the end of last year aimed at dealing with the rising stock theft ensuring that only inspected and certified meat fit for human consumption was put on the market.

‘‘Riding on the successes of the blitz “Nyama Yabvepi” campaign last December, another blitz “Nyama Yabvepi” has been organized with ZRP and all other stakeholders started on Monday, 5 June, and will run for two weeks.

Recently the country’s authorities noted that concerns in social media have revealed that there are unscrupulous operators in the beef value chain.

“The program will enable us to curb stock theft, which is largely driven by the markets supplied by restaurants and butcheries that connive with the thieves or skip the required checks,” a report from the authorities stated.

It added that a team of veterinary public health officers will carry out extensive investigations to ensure the authenticity of meat in all butcheries by ensuring that it has come through legal channels.

According to the acting deputy director of veterinary field services Dr. Reverend Spargo, stressed that all stakeholders are obliged to work together for an all-inclusive successful operation.

“All hands on the deck. We have an obligation to curb livestock rustling and protect public health. This must be done to the best of our ability and at all costs, ‘‘he added.

He also noted that the Department of Veterinary Services has the mandate to ensure public food safety through the inspection of livestock from farm to consumer.

The department is also charged with abattoir inspections and registrations as well as antemortem and post-mortem inspections at registered abattoirs.

In 2021, the country reported that some farmers and butchers were selling condemned meat from livestock affected by diseases instead of burning carcasses.

This was followed by the establishment of Operation, Nyama Yabvepi, where authorities intensified efforts to ensure that no sick animals would be accepted for slaughter and no uninspected meat would be sold to the market.

According to data from the country’s meat industry outlook, Zimbabwe’s meat consumption is expected to reach around 256,000 metric tons by 2026, down from 259,000 metric tons in 2021 which is a decrease of 0.2% annually on average since 2017.

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