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Fascioliasis: Prevalence, protein content and attitude of meat sellers to infected livers of slaughtered cattle in Abeokuta
The occurrence of fascioliasis and crude protein content in livers of slaughtered cows as well as the knowledge, attitude and practices of meat sellers and buyers in relation to infected livers were assessed using two abattoirs in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The occurrence of fascioliasis was found to be 15.52% with infection being higher among male than female cattle (p<0.05). The infected livers were brownish-grey in colour, small and hard with several fibrous tissues. The meat sellers discarded none of the infected liver in the course of the study, although veterinary doctors condemned all the infected ones. The crude protein content of infected liver (14.68) was significantly lower than the uninfected ones (21.45) (p<0.05). Questionnaire responses of the meat sellers revealed their ability to recognize infected liver by either its colour or the presence of the worm.
Poverty and ignorance was identified as the reasons for selling of Fasciola-infected liver. Market survey revealed that liver was basically purchased for its nutritional values especially for pregnant women and children. The elderly also eat liver because of its tenderness. Most (95%) of the buyers did not know about Fascioliasis while those that were aware could not link it with nutrition depletion. Rotten smell was considered the only indicator for liver unfit for consumption. The enactment and enforcement of government policies in relation to condemnation of Fasciola infected liver is strongly recommended.
Keywords: fascioliasis, liver, meat sellers, protein content, Abeokuta.
Nigerian Journal of Parasitology Vol. 28 (2) 2007: pp. 125-128