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Friday, May 24, 2024

Farmers cry over animal fifth quarter policy

Story by Sifiso Sibanda

THE political leadership in Matabeleland province has resolved to push for the ratification of a law that stops abattoirs from taking the animal fifth quarter portion, which comprises offals, after the slaughter of a beast.

The fifth quarter policy that has been in place since the colonial era allows abattoirs to take offals, the head and the skin of every beast they slaughter.

“The scrapping of this law is long overdue and farmers have been complaining for a long time about this daylight robbery and now we are taking it to Parliament so that we remove this law and support our farmers to get full value of their animal and be commercial in their operations,” noted ZANU PF Politburo member, Cde Richard Ndlovu. 

“How can a livestock farmer be commercial when abattoir operators are taking offals and here we talking about liver, heart kidneys, mazondo and the head which sells like hot cake and it’s taken for free this is a colonial law that surprisingly has gone for so long without being amended and this time government must deal with it,” said Umzingwane legislator, Cde Levy Mayihlome.

Gwanda North legislator, Cde Madodana Sibanda stated, “Livestock farmers can never develop with such laws, remember there is medication, vaccines and dipping chemicals that a farmer needs to procure yet they are robbed by abattoir operators. In fact, the farmers must claim compensation after this law is removed because from the fifth quarter alone abattoir operators can run a profitable venture.”

“It is an embarrassment that this is still happening it should have been long corrected because there is no justification for this at all,” Matobo North legislator, Cde Edgar Moyo weighed in.

Farmers have also been urged to engage government through a formal proposal on how they want the issue resolved.

“As chairperson of the special development initiative I want to call upon all livestock farmers to come together and take a position on this nagging issue and then take their recommendations to government I’m sure this will be resolved,” said Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Judith Ncube.

The farmers have also spoken of the need for a new livestock policy in the country.

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