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The Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) must take decisive and urgent measures to stem the wave of cattle theft in Maputo province, which is assuming alarming proportions.
Such is the demand voiced by the president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, after having visited four districts that are considered to have potential for agriculture, livestock and fishing production, but which are grappling with runaway cattle rustling.
The head of state had visited Matola, Matutuíne, Moamba and Manhiça districts, in the last three of which cattle production is the main economic activity of the population, who are suffering inordinately from the ongoing thievery.
The theft is apparently stimulated by the opening of a market for the sale of fresh meat of unknown origin, the result of the authorities’ fragile command over the circulation of cattle in the province.
After repeated complaints from people in all the districts he visited, President Nyusi exclaimed that it was time to reverse the scenario, because “Maputo should not be a champion in cattle-rustling.”
The president urged the provincial commander of PRM in Maputo, Bonifácio Bogence, to take appropriate, effective and urgent measures to stop the phenomenon. He said he had given precise instructions to Commander-in-Chief Bernardino Rafael to reverse a situation which both harmed producers and undermined government efforts to promote livestock rearing and improve meat quality.
Livestock farmers say that they are robbed almost every day and accuse the police and veterinary authorities of not doing enough to remedy the situation, because thieves calmly transport the meat in vehicles through police checkpoints without any documentation.
They also say there should be coordinated action between the police, veterinary services and the trade sector, since slaughtering should normally only be carried out in slaughterhouses where the meat is inspected and certificates issued and presented to inspectors.
“Cattle theft is stimulated by the market because thieves sell the meat to butchers without any documentation, which is also a risk to public health because some animals may be sick, but since they have not passed the veterinary inspection they reach the consumer at low prices, in turn which harms cattle farmers,” one Moamba farmer complained.
Cattle rearers also say consumers should get into the habit of demanding to see the certificate of origin of meat being sold in order to make sure that it has been approved by a veterinarian.
Theft of cattle is frequently reported in the villages of Goane, Milambo, Nhoquene, Luziveve, among others in the Sábie administrative post, from where the rustlers slaughter and transport meat to sell in the Matola and Maputo city markets.Source: Notícias
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