Officials in at least two African countries are warning the public against consuming certain animals due to the risk of the serious and potentially lethal bacterial disease, anthrax.

Bacillus anthracis bacteria Image/CDC
Bacillus anthracis bacteria

In Nigeria’s north-central Jigawa state, the Jigawa Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources is warning people not to consume meat slaughtered in the recognized abattoirs in the state due to anthrax.

According to officials, eight persons died in Niger Republic due to anthrax linked to consumption of sic cows.

Dr Abdullahi Haruna, the Director of Veterinary Services for the Ministry said, “To lower your risk of getting anthrax, do not eat meat that has not been properly slaughtered and cooked, do not work with raw animal’s hides or skin, especially those of goats, sheep or cows.”

In Zambia, the health ministry is warning of the risk of contracting anthrax by consuming hippopotamus meat in the northeast of the country.

In Chama district, in the northeast region of Zambia, officials have recorded 22 human cutaneous anthrax cases in the past two weeks. Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported.


“People in the areas of outbreak of anthrax should at all times desist from handling or eating infected dead hippo meat as this is the source of infection of anthrax in the area,” Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said Wednesday. “The government has sufficient capacity to respond to such outbreaks and the situation is under control.”

As you may recall in June, the Zambian government planned a mass cull of hippos over the next five years calling it a”wildlife management tool” to control anthrax. However, after strong opposition by the Born Free Foundation, the Zambian government suspended the cull.