Zimbabwe, a country in southern Africa, is taking decisive steps to combat the sale of uninspected meat and tackle the issue of slaughter of sick animals. The initiative, known as Nyama Yabvepi, aims to ensure that only inspected and certified meat fit for human consumption is made available to consumers. The operation was initially launched in late 2022 to address the increasing incidents of stock theft and has now been escalated to intensify efforts in the fight against uninspected meat vending.
To reinforce the ongoing campaign’s success, a new phase of Nyama Yabvepi was organized, involving the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other relevant stakeholders. The latest blitz, which began on June 5th and is scheduled to run for two weeks, aims to crack down on unscrupulous operators within the beef value chain. Social media concerns have shed light on the existence of such actors, prompting authorities to take swift action to safeguard public health and prevent stock theft.
During the operation, a team of veterinary public health officers will conduct extensive investigations to ensure the authenticity of meat in all butcheries. Their primary focus will be to verify that the meat has gone through legal channels and has undergone necessary inspections and certifications. Dr. Reverend Spargo, the acting deputy director of veterinary field services, emphasized the importance of collective efforts from all stakeholders for the operation’s success. He stressed the need for a unified approach to curb livestock rustling and protect public health, highlighting that it is an obligation that must be fulfilled to the best of everyone’s ability.
The Department of Veterinary Services has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring public food safety throughout the entire livestock supply chain, from farm to consumer. This includes inspections and registrations of abattoirs, as well as thorough antemortem and post-mortem examinations at registered facilities. By implementing stringent measures, Zimbabwe seeks to maintain high standards of food safety and prevent the sale of meat from diseased animals.
The need for such operations became evident in 2021 when reports emerged that some farmers and butchers were selling condemned meat from livestock affected by diseases instead of disposing of the carcasses properly. This revelation prompted the establishment of Operation Nyama Yabvepi, which sought to intensify efforts to prevent the acceptance of sick animals for slaughter and the sale of uninspected meat in the market.
Looking ahead, Zimbabwe’s meat industry outlook projects a consumption of around 256,000 metric tons by 2026, compared to 259,000 metric tons in 2021, reflecting a marginal decrease of 0.2% annually on average since 2017. These figures highlight the need for a robust system of inspection and regulation to ensure that the meat consumed by the population meets the necessary standards of quality and safety.
In conclusion, Zimbabwe is actively addressing the issue of uninspected meat vending through its Nyama Yabvepi campaign. By mobilizing various stakeholders, conducting extensive investigations, and enforcing strict inspections, the country aims to curb stock theft, protect public health, and maintain the integrity of the meat supply chain. The ongoing efforts demonstrate Zimbabwe’s commitment to ensuring that only safe and certified meat reaches consumers, contributing to a healthier and more secure food system in the country.
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