Sanitary practices and occurrence of zoonotic conditions in cattle at slaughter in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania: implications for public health
As meat consumption is increasing worldwide to cover for protein demands, also raise concerns and challenges regarding meat hygiene and safety. The current one year follow up study aimed at investigating on sanitary practices and occurrence of zoonotic conditions, during post-mortem examination, in cattle at slaughter in Morogoro Municipality abattoir. Sanitary practices were assessed through direct observation where as routine post-mortem inspection procedures were employed to detect zoonotic conditions in cattle at slaughter. During the study period a total of 30,713 cattle were slaughtered and inspected at the abattoir. Results revealed poor hygienic practices at the level of abattoir surrounding, the slaughter operation area, personnel as well as meat vans. Whole carcasses, lungs, livers, hearts and heads were condemned due to zoonotic conditions at rates of 0.026%, 1.96%, 1.61%, 0.02% and 0.21% respectively. Bovine tuberculosis, Cysticercus bovis cysts, fasciolosis and hydatidosis were the responsible zoonotic conditions for the condemnations. Bovine tuberculosis was a leading zoonotic cause of condemnations accounting for 95.7% of lungs and 100% of all head and carcass condemnations. Cysticercus bovis cysts were ranking the second in serving as causes of condemnations closely followed by fasciolosis and lastly hydatidosis. Occurrence of disease conditions with zoonotic implication in cattle at slaughter, meant for human consumption, may pose significant economic and public health risks to especially disaster-prone marginalized communities. Thus, there is a need to introduce appropriate control measures of livestock diseases to minimize the rate of infection; and eventually reduce economic losses and safeguard public health.