Nothing brings Kenyans together than a public holiday, more so one that involves “nyama choma” and “tusker baridi”. Therefore, in the spirit of easter I would like to talk about a few public health and animal welfare issues, especially in the nyama choma (roasted meat) department since domestic slaughter presents a higher chance of food safety risks than purchasing meat that has been slaughtered and inspected by a professional.

Hygiene is key when doing domestic slaughter since the carcass can be contaminated by pathogens such as E.coli and Salmonella which can cause serious food-borne illness. Moreover, the animals selected or bought for slaughter should be healthy animals. Do not slaughter an already dead animal as this could cause serious health effects to anyone who consumes such meat. Some Kenyans are very notorious at slaughtering dead animals and even selling the meat to the public. Genuine meat has a stamp by the meat inspection officer, if you do not see the stamp, then do not buy such meat.

In addition to slaughtering healthy animals, do not slaughter any animals under medications, or rather observe the withdrawal periods. Like I said in my previous posts, eating meat from such an animal contributes to antimicrobial resistance.

In terms of animal welfare issues, it is important to slaughter the animals in a manner that does not bring unnecessary pain and suffering to the animal. Please do not use a blunt knife to slaughter your goat, then stop halfway to sharpen it. Make it quick and painless. If no one can perform this task it is advised that you get a trained professional.

Happy easter holidays and remember- Animals matter.

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