Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Veterinary experts are concerned that the mistreatment of animals comprises the quality of meat and makes it unsafe for human consumption.
A number of animals, especially cattle, goats, sheep and chicken are often seen overloaded on trucks, tied badly or over beaten while heading to the slaughterhouse.
But according to veterinary experts, animals that are treated with cruelty suffer from stress, and as a result, their meat is tasteless and hard. They add that stress in an animal before slaughter changes the shelf-life of its meat because the glycogen that produces lactic acid is overused.
Meat from stressed animals will be dark, firm and dry; it shrinks and deteriorates quickly because it lacks lactic acid, an important ingredient for post-slaughter because it fights bacteria that would otherwise attack the meat.
Isingiro District Veterinary Officer, Dr Bruhan Kasozi says that the practice of transporting and treating animals in a cruel way is a sign of indiscipline. Kasozi says that the authorities have always advised them to always handle animals meant for slaughter with care but in vain.
He says that enforcing proper practices is a challenge since the authorities cannot be everywhere.
Ntungamo District Veterinary Officer Dr Yaake Basulira says that animals meant for slaughter should not be beaten up, bruised or held in a manner that leaves them stressed since this compromises the quality of the meant.
Yaake says that legal provisions such as the animal diseases act, Public health act among others have in place penalties that carter for punishments to those who handle animals in a cruel way.
Moses Bugyendo the Ishaka-Bushenyi municipality veterinary officer says that the practice is not only dangerous to human beings but also reduces the nutrients that the consumers ought to get in the animals consumed.
Kenneth Tumusiime a resident of Birere Sub County in Isingiro district who also runs a pork joint in says that he has been tying and transporting pigs on a motorcycle for the last 10 years. He says that he has never been told that the practice is bad.
Gershom Baguma a resident of Bugamba in Rwampara district says there is no action by the authorities to ensure that the animals meant for slaughter are not stressed.
Edward Natamba the executive director at south-western institute for policy and advocacy-SOWIPA says that the practice is of mistreating animals is very common as the responsible authorities look on.
He says that the presence of laws incriminating the practices is not enough if there are no efforts directed towards ending the practice.