CATTLE farmers in the Midlands province have started counting losses as the weather begins to take its toll on livestock.
A number of cattle have since succumbed to the drought, with some farmers starting to press the panic button.
The Veterinary Services Department has said the situation has been compounded by disease outbreaks such as red water and anthrax
Districts such as Mvuma, Gokwe and some parts of Mberengwa have been quarantined, but the department said the foot and mouth outbreak was now under control.
Farmers interviewed said their cattle were succumbing to drought and were unable to buy supplementary feed after shops hiked prices.
“I have lost three cattle this month alone,” said Mr Aaron Mbewe of Silobela in Kwekwe district. “I am very worried that more might die since anthrax has been reported in this area.”
Chief Njelele of Gokwe said some villagers were now disposing of their herd for a song due to the drought.
“The problems the villagers are facing are two-fold, there is drought on one hand and diseases outbreak on the other,” he said.
Midlands provincial veterinary officer Dr Daniel Hove said the department has started vaccinating cattle against anthrax in Gokwe South and Gokwe North districts to prevent more cattle deaths.