9 Swaziland Dairy Board
The main role of Swaziland Dairy Board (SDB) is to develop and regulate the dairy industry in the country. Also, SDB provides technical assistance to both small and large scale farmers. Milk production in Swaziland is mainly dominated by rural small holder producers. It has been reported over the past few decades, more than 70% of milk produced in Swaziland is sold directly from the farm to consumers as raw milk (FAO, 2003; SDB, 2010. This may pose a potential public health hazard because usually the milk is consumed unpasteurized by the buyers. In other developing countries the distributors of raw milk and milk products in small towns and rural sections usually do not meet the minimum requirements for public health (Omore et al., 1999; D’Amico and Donnelly, 2010). Although a major role played by the informal raw milk market in Swaziland is greatly appreciated however, it indicated that raw milk produced by Swaziland farmers may be of poor hygienic quality (Dlamini et al., 1997; Fakudze and Dlamini, 2001).
2.2.10 Health Hazard from Poultry
Heavy metals found in poultry meat and eggs are potentially toxic source and the elements included in this category are lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), astastine (As) and Hg. Those elements which have specific gravity greater than five are called heavy metals. Other mineral elements which are nutritionally important and also fit this category include cobalt, vanadium, iron, copper, manganese, molybdenum, chromium and zinc (Henry and Miles, 2001). Heavy metals resulting from human activities are the sources of pollution and are continuously released into aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Heavy metals contamination is a serious threat because of their toxicity, bio-magnification and bioaccumulation in food chain (Demirezen and Uruc, 2006). These contaminants often have direct physiological toxic effects as they are stored or accumulated in tissues, sometimes permanently (Bokori et al., 1996; Mariam et al., 2004). The deficiency of elements leads to impairment of vital biological process but when they are present in excess, they become toxic such as
cadmium exposure causes bone and kidney damage. It has also been identified as a potential human carcinogen, causing lung cancer.
Most elements enter the body through diet. Poultry meat and egg have always been sources of protein for human and their consumption have increased recently (Magdelaine et al., 2007). In children approximately 40% uptake of lead is from egg. Hui-Fen et al. (1994) found the concentration of Pb 0.59 mg/kg egg in China, while William and David (1973) found Cd 0.07
mg/kg egg and Cu 0.78 mg/kg egg in Australian foods. During recent years the presence of toxic heavy metals in food of animal’s origin has got great importance. The problem of heavy metals requires immediate attention of the health regulatory authorities and the researchers as well. There is a serious need of local database or risk assessment studies in local animals and foodstuffs to evaluate the potential risk or threat to humans from heavy metals.
In addition, live poultry markets have been implicated in the zoonotic transmission of avian influenza viruses from live poultry to people (traders and customers). This transmission can occur via direct or indirect contact although, in many cases, the exact route is not known. Avian to human transmission of avian influenza viruses in markets was first recognized with influenza A(H5N1) viruses from 1997 onwards. It has been complicated by the emergence of a range of other zoonotic influenza A virus subtypes, including a virus of the H7N9 subtype. Measures need to be taken in live poultry markets to reduce the likelihood of infection of poultry and people, with these viruses. It should be viewed as a failure of control and preventive systems if any person working in or visiting markets is infected with influenza viruses derived from poultry, and develops severe disease (FAO, 2015).
2.2.11 Consumer concerns, laws and regulations governing meat production in the developing world
The developing world such as Africa shows a lot of potential in meat production and export exchange, particularly for beef, due to its ability and resources to accommodate and nurture both indigenous and exotic cattle breeds. Scholtz et al (2011) re¬ported that the climatic and agricultural conditions in this part of the world allow for many areas of compatible interest and opportunities, regarding beef cattle production. Bello et al (2015) reported that there has been an information gap between the developing and the developed world. Even so, it is also important to realise the geographical, climatic and systematic differences of the two worlds. Therefore, there is need to intensify research in this regard and come up with findings that are suitable and complement the developing world conditions.
Despite the laws and regulations that govern food animals, meat production and consumption, Ndou et al described the developing world as giving low priority to the welfare of animals due to factors such as traditional customs and beliefs, lack of knowledge in animal handling and sub-standard handling facilities. This may then make it hard for these countries to compete with the rest of the world due to high prevalence of food insecurity and poverty, thus intensifying socio-economic challenges and constraints (Ndou et al., 2011). Furthermore; the elevated concerns from consumers on how the animal was treated before it was slaughtered as well as how it was processed (hygiene) affect the way they perceive meat.
Bello et al (2015) discovered that some abattoirs in Nigeria neglect the practice of regular ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection of slaughter animals, conventional sanitation practices in operation and post-operation cycle thus putting public health in jeopardy due to unsafe meat production.
They also reported that these shortcomings threatened achievement of sustainable food safety. Furthermore, Font-I-Furnols et al (2012) reported that meat consumers were more concerned of the product’s place of origin than its price or the feed the animal took; and they were more comfortable with locally produced meat. However, a study in South Africa revealed that rural consumers were more concerned about the price of the product than any other factor (Vimiso et al.,2011). The current status of the developing world regarding animal welfare awareness and meat quality concerns puts it on the edge relating to import and export participation with the rest of the world through the meat industry in improving the economy. Ferguson et al (2014) concluded in a review that the industry should pay attention and even respond to the consumer and societal demands for more sustainable and ethical animal farming systems and practices.
2.2.12 Veterinary Public Health in Australia
According Newman and McKenzie (1991), Australia is amongst the leading countries in the world in the export of livestock products, livestock and livestock genetic material. The success of the country in trade is credited to the country’s the efficiency and reliability of the livestock industries and Veterinary Services in the country and the favourable health situation. The country has more than 3,600 professionally active veterinarians. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has the responsibility of regulating the export and import of livestock and animal products. The country also has best facilities to control diseases.
Through it geographical positioning, high standard of living and enforcement of strict quarantine measures, Australia has been declared free from the major zoonotic animal diseases. Most zoonotic diseases are of low prevalence hence a minor concern to the public health significance. The only reported diseases include salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, brucellosis and leptospirosis. Australian veterinary authorities make sure every animal (cattle and pigs) get vaccination to reduce transmission of leptospirosis (Newman and McKenzie, 1991).
Meat inspection in Australia is of high priority. Inspection of meat occurs at all export abattoirs, inspection of domestic red meat establishment and poultry establishment. At an export abattoir, the Veterinary Officer in Charge (VOIC) is responsible for meat inspection (i.e. ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection). The VOIC ensures that all the regulatory requirements are carried out as per legislation. Meat inspectors are responsible for safeguarding the public health by identifying and condemning unsafe and unwholesome meat. Local slaughterhouses are inspected regularly by meat inspectors (Newman and McKenzie, 1991).