Zoonotic diseases, passed from animals to human beings contribute to 60 to 70 per cent of ailments affecting people, thus every meat product, whether from domestic or wild animals should be inspected before consumption.
The Director for Veterinary Services (DVS) in Nakuru County, Dr. Onesmus Githui has said diseases, including Salmonella, Influenza, Tuberculosis, Hiv/Aids, Ebola, Rift Valley Fever and anthrax are contracted by human beings through close interaction or consumption of animal products before inspection.
He said all fresh products from animals should always be viewed with suspicion before inspection by qualified personnel for they have the capacity to cause fatalities to the unsuspecting consumers.
Dr. Githui said veterinary officers play a crucial role in carrying out vaccination of animals, aimed at ensuring that any emerging diseases are controlled before crossing over from one species to another.
He observed that beef, mutton and other forms of white meats are beneficial to our health since they give out proteins, but if the slaughtered animal has been infected, then the person consuming it will automatically get the disease, and worse still it can mutate to something deadly like Ebola.
Dr. Githui urged Kenyans who habitually slaughter domestic animals such as goats and sheep and consume without inspection to desist forthwith for the sake of their health.
He said it was even worse when wild animals such as rabbits, deer, quills and crocodiles are slaughtered arbitrary and consumed without any inspection, because apart from committing crime under the Wildlife Act, those consuming the meat endanger their lives unnecessarily.
At the same time, the DVS said the widespread tendency of congesting various animals in small plots, of say 50 by 100, by putting poultry on top of the zero gracing unit, pigs on another shelf below them and cows at the bottom, may be a way of maximizing profits, but it the practice is dangerous to the surrounding environment.
He added that animals require adequate space for their movement, control of diseases and for reduction of stress for maximum production of milk for the cows and also proper growth.
Subsequently, the current covid-19 pandemic is believed to have mutated from a seafood market in Hunan, China late last year.
By Veronica Bosibori