With the Meat and Milk Board confirming reports of Anthrax emerging from among 3,959 cattle that were imported from Brazil and placed on a farm in Ankara’s Gölbaşı Sub-Province, it has suggested that there is no cause for alarm. Making no mention of the fifty animals among the 4,000 cattle that have died, the board has left unanswered the question of why the animals which were brought by ship from Brazil were admitted to the country without being subjected to the necessary controls.
The anthrax episode among some 4,000 cattle owned by the Meat and Milk Board in Ankara’s Gölbaşı Sub-Province is growing. The Meat and Milk Board has confirmed the anthrax cases in a written statement it made. It is stated in the announcement that 3,959 head of cattle destined for slaughter imported by the Meat and Milk Board were brought to an enterprise owned by the private sector located in Ahiboz Quarter in Ankara’s Gölbaşı Sub-Province. It was announced in the statement, in which it is said that a sample was taken from the animals that were slaughtered and sent to the Meat Veterinary Control Centre Research Institute, that the ensuing results were positive for anthrax.
“Not placed on the market”
With it noted in the statement that the carcass meat from the slaughtered animals was destroyed under the supervision of staff from the Sub-Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry, it was said, “The enterprise has been quarantined and all entries and exits have been forbidden, and procedures to inoculate the remaining animals have been completed. The placing of the meat in question on the market or suchlike did not happen. All the necessary measures have also been taken for the disease not to infect other animals outside the farm and there is no cause for alarm.”
Samples should be taken
The Meat and Milk Board’s “no cause for alarm” announcement has not assuaged concerns over the incident. Ministry of Agriculture experts should have gone to Brazil and taken samples from the animals in the course of import. If samples were taken, the question of why diseased animals were admitted to the country remains unanswered. If the animals were not tested for disease, it is unknown if an investigation has been launched into the public servants who displayed negligence. Doubt has arisen as to whether the necessary controls were conducted prior to the import of meat or animals similarly brought from other countries, and whether disease was involved in such cases.
Ministry officials have not replied to questions as to whether the live animals in question were subjected to the necessary controls in Brazil or at Mersin harbour, and whether there is an administrative investigation into the public servants who displayed negligence. Officials have indicated that work is underway and an announcement will be made if need be.
Mad cow disease has also emerged
Cumhuriyet previously revealed that mad cow disease had emerged from among 3,000 cattle that Turkey imported from Poland. Included in the report was the pronouncement by Ministry of Agriculture experts: “Since the analysis reports were written in Polish, we did not understand what was written.”
HORRIFIC CLAIMS: THEY THREW THE DEAD ANIMALS INTO A STREAM
Cumhuriyet has made contact with certain villagers engaged in stock rearing in Ahiboz village. The information that the villagers gave contradicts state officials announcements that there is no need for panic. From what has been learnt, some 4,000 cattle were imported from Brazil and brought by ship to Mersin. The cattle, which were quarantined here, were placed in the farm of the businessman named Ümit Aydoğan in the vicinity of Ahiboz village about one month ago. A stock farmer who did not wish to give his name said the following:
“Around thirty to forty animals died. They threw them into the stream bed beside the farm. The village’s dogs and birds ate the dead animal’s corpses. With anthrax detected three days ago, lime was poured on the dead bodies and they were buried. Why was the disease not noticed while these animals were in quarantine in Mersin? Thousands of animals were brought from Brazil during Eid and were distributed around the country. There may also be diseased ones among them.”
Saying there was another farm owned by a villager next to the farm, the stock farmer remarked, “Our animals wander through this area as well. It is also an area where sheep graze. But, our animals are inoculated.” The stock farmer said, “Vets from the directorate of agriculture have not until now come and looked at our animals. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“They slaughtered them in Sincan”
As to the purpose for which the animals were brought, there are various allegations. Certain stock farmers have asserted that these were bought in on behalf of foundations and would be distributed to the needy after being slaughtered at Eid. One stock farmer, conversely, alleged that the animals in question would be slaughtered at a meat combine located in Sincan and sold in certain supermarkets. An allegation that the stock farmers frequently voiced was that some of the animals were slaughtered at the combine in Sincan before the anthrax cases had yet been detected. It is unknown if the slaughtered meat was distributed. With no announcement forthcoming as to whether any of the slaughtered ones were diseased, it is alleged that a butcher underwent treatment.
No responsible person was available by phone at the Aydoğanlar company, which we called to inquire into the matter. On the other hand, with stock farmers saying that the said cattle were brought in at 4.10 dollars per kilo, they noted, “This makes about 25 lira. However, the Meat and Milk Board had announced that it would buy animals unsold at Eid from rearers for 14 lira per kilo. Why are our animals worth less? Are animals being imported from Brazil because Turkey is out of livestock?”
INVESTIGATION ORDERED BY MINISTRY
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced that an instruction for an investigation had been given by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli following the passage of more than 24 hours after the anthrax episode that hit Ankara’s Gölbaşı Sub-Province.