DVS urges farmers to follow dipping intervals Recently, Department of Veterinary Services chief director Dr Josphat Nyika said it was critical for farmers to make supplementary feeding, adding that extension workers will assist them in making the formulations.

Grace Mahora and Lesego Valela

Farmers have been urged to religiously follow dipping intervals to prevent the spread of tick-borne diseases in the country as livestock is key to rural development.

Dipping also controls other vectors like tsetse fly and other biting flies.

This comes as the tick-borne diseases are almost under control as a result of intensive dipping and the Presidential Tick grease where over 1 million kilogrammes of tick grease was distributed to stock owners countrywide.

Officially opening Nyamherere dip tank in Kasvosva Village in Mudzi, Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) principal director, Dr Josphat Nyika recently said dip tank construction and rehabilitation being spearheaded under the Livestock Growth Plan was important in the realisation of Vision 2030.

“Livestock play a pivotal role in food security, family nutrition, family income, asset savings, soil productivity, livelihoods, transport and agricultural traction and is also a symbol of social status.

“Livestock is Africa’s currency that is not affected by inflation and brings about rural empowerment, rural transformation and rural development which leaves no place behind. It is therefore important to safeguard the health and welfare of our livestock through good animal husbandry practices,” he said.

The DVS is mandated to prevent and control livestock diseases and among the disease control activities, is cattle dipping which is done to control tick-borne diseases and tick population.

Tick-borne diseases account for 75 percent of the cattle losses in Zimbabwe.

Dr Nyika said Zimbabwe lost over 500 000 cattle to tick-borne diseases between 2017 and 2020.

He urged farmers in the area to maintain the dip tank in good shape and to desist from vandalising the infrastructure.

“I urge you to bring all your cattle for dipping to prevent outbreaks of tick-borne diseases,” he said.

The dipping of animals however is not free and thus requires farmers to pay an amount of US$2 or equivalent in local currency for each animal.

“I am also urging you to religiously pay your dipping fees to ensure the continuous supply of dipping chemicals and an uninterrupted dipping service,” he said.

It is mostly advised for farmers to resort to regular dipping and intensify the killing of nymphs before growing into adults and ensuring that animals are totally soaked for best results.

Nyamherere dip tank was constructed at a cost of $3 million from the constituency development funds.

The dip tank has a capacity of 15 000 litres of water. The dip tank will serve 193 households with a combined cattle census of 831.

The construction of the dip tank has reduced the distance travelled by farmers to the nearest dip tank which is 9 kilometres away.

There are 4 015 dip tanks countrywide constructed by Government.

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