The Kogi State government has placed a 48-hours ban on the sale of beef meat in the state as part of effort to investigate what led to the death of about twenty cattle that died while grazing on the premises of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, on Thursday.
State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, said the state had put in place measures at ensuring that meat from the cows, believed to have died from poisoning does not get to the market, for which reason the government said it has placed a 48-hour ban on the sale of beef in the metropolis and surrounding areas.
A visit to some of the popular markets in Lokoja, including the Lokongoma and the Ganaja village markets however indicated that customers may be unaware of the news of the dead cows, or the government’s 48-hour embargo on the sale of beef, as brisk business went on in the meat sections.
A herd of twenty cows reportedly collapsed and died on a field at the Felele main campus of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, on the previous day.
The cows were said to have entered into the farm to graze, where they died of suspected herbicide poisoning.
A lecturer in the Department of General Studies of the state polytechnic however said that about twelve cows grazing close to the school fence died.
“Yes, I was told that twelve cows died on a farm close to the school fence. You know that we are not allowed on the campus right now; the school is closed. It will be a problem between the farmers and the Fulani. I’m not in school,” he had said.
The government said it was adopting proactive measures at ensuring that the meat from the poisoned cows does not find their way into the open market.
It read: “We wish to inform the people of the state, some of the proactive measures taken by government to find out the cause of the death of those cows and to also ensure their beefs do not find their way into our markets.
“There have been a coordinated security and scientific investigations into the death of the cows. The investigations are being handled by security agencies through the office of the State Security Adviser, as well as veterinary doctors in the ministries of agriculture and environment.
“Security agencies and the affected government ministries and departments have been mandated to form strong institutional walls that will stop the beefs from getting into the market as it is detrimental to health.
“The Kogi State government has also placed a ban on the sale of beef in Lokoja and its environs for the next 48 hours.
“The state government has committed to briefing members of the public on findings about the incident. We also urge our people to volunteer intelligence that will help us unravel the mystery behind the death of those cows.”