Sick meat sold

Update: 11:56AM MEAT from cattle known to be diseased is sold to the public.

Fiji’s Agriculture Minister Inia Seruiratu confirmed this while being questioned by Opposition MP Prem Singh in Parliament this morning.

The minister was asked to explain Government programs to minimise and manage the impact of bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis in the local cattle industry.

In response to his explanation, Opposition MP Prem Singh asked Mr Seruiratu why cattle confirmed as diseased by the Fiji Meats Industry Board was slaughtered and yet parts of it were sold.

“Why is it that parts of the carcass are taken away and the rest is sold for human consumption. Why is an animal infected with these diseases sold for human consumption?” Mr Singh asked.

Likening an infected cow to fruit, the Agriculture Minister said the risk to humans was only in raw meat.

“The high risk is when it’s raw. You can peel off parts of the fruits and consume the rest. The advice is as long as it’s cooked and boiled well, the risk is only bacteria, you can get rid of bacteria,” the minister said.

At the conclusion of a detailed explanation of the number of reported cases of the two diseases, Mr Seruiratu advised that the slaughter of infected animals was necessary.

“It is going on very well and is successful but it is painful because of the loss of income,” Mr Seruiratu said.

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