Residents may be at serious risk of being poisoned if they eat the meat from a calf that was slaughtered unlawfully on a farm just days after it was treated with a strong antiparasitic medication.
The owner of the bull that was killed, Edmond Pipe, said he treated the five-month-old animal with Ivermectin and Combikel 40 L.A last Thursday, and two days later he found the animal’s skin hanging on a branch and the head on the ground near a tree in Burke’s Estate where he had tied the animal.
Pipe told OBSERVER media that the Ivermectin he used is the pour-on type for cattle and the incubation period is 48 days – meaning, that the meat from the animal would not be fit for consumption for 48 days.
“It was just two days before that I gave the animal the deworming and other treatment, and it is the pour on so you can imagine how that is potent because it works its way into the system through the skin and right into the intestines and it was already in the system, still very, very strong,” he warned.
Pipe said while he is hurt over losing the animal, which is valued $1,000, he is more concerned about unsuspecting consumers who may purchase the meat from the thieves, not knowing the risks.
The farmer provided OBSERVER media with information about the effects of Ivermectin on animals if they are overdosed, as he said: “Just imagine what it could do to a human being.”
The information showed that the medication can cause “Ataxia (uncoordinated movements), Hypermetria (excessive or disproportionate movements), Disorientation, Hyperesthesia (excessive reaction to tactile stimuli), Tremor (uncoordinated trembling or shaking movements), Mydriasis (dilatation of the pupils); in cattle and cats also myosis (contraction of the pupils), Recumbency (inability to rise), Depression, Blindness and Coma (persistence unconsciousness).
Pipe said people should look out for individuals who may be selling the meat at cheaper rates than the market prices and in places not approved for storing or selling meat. He said approved meats are marked, and this is identifiable by the blueish/purple stamps.
The livestock farmer said he is tired of such types of thefts occurring on the island and is frustrated lamenting about it without anyone being caught. However, he said he decided to speak out again because of how dangerous this situation is.
“I will not be eating it, but it is a concern for the consumer. Now you spend your money to buy meat, and you eat it heartily, and then you find you have some kind of seizure or sick in some other way, that’s the kind of thing I am concerned about. They only left the skin and the head; they went with the feet, the liver, the heart, the lungs, all the meat,” he said.
The farmer said he is aware of other farmers suffering similar losses and is urging residents to buy meat from recognised shops/supermarkets and to carefully examine the beef for the stamp which is only present on approved meat.
Pipe said he reported the matter to the police and it is under investigation.