Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
KIMERA, Zuhura I. et al. Determination of oxytetracycline residues in cattle meat marketed in the Kilosa district, Tanzania. Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2015, vol.82, n.1, pp. 01-05. ISSN 2219-0635. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v82i1.911.
Oxytetracycline is used to treat various diseases in cattle. However, its use may be associated with unacceptable residue levels in food. Oxytetracycline residues in tissues from indigenous cattle were determined in a cross-sectional study conducted in the Kilosa district, Tanzania, between November 2012 and April 2013. A total of 60 tissue samples, including muscle, liver and kidney, were collected from slaughterhouses and butchers and analysed for oxytetracycline using high-performance liquid chromatography. Oxytetracycline residues were found in 71.1% of the samples, of which 68.3% were above acceptable regulatory levels. The mean concentration of oxytetracycline across tissues was 3401.1 μg/kg ± 879.3 μg/kg; concentrations in muscle, liver and kidney were 2604.1 μg/kg ± 703.7 μg/kg, 3434.4 μg/kg ± 606.4 μg/kg and 3533.1 μg/kg ± 803.6 μg/kg, respectively. High levels of oxytetracycline residue in meat from indigenous cattle may pose a health threat to consumers in Kilosa. The findings possibly reflect a general lack of implementation of recommended withdrawal periods, ignorance about drug use and lack of extension services. Strict regulation of the use of antimicrobial drugs in the livestock industry and associated testing of animal-derived food sources prior to marketing are required.