Sukoluhle Ndlovu Midlands Correspondent
Gwenhoro Commercial Farm in Shurugwi has been hit by severe foot-and-mouth, a development which is likely to adversely affect livestock movement and production in the Midlands Province.
An official with the Veterinary Services in the province, Dr Munyaradzi Chigiji, confirmed the outbreak saying more than 50 cattle have been affected.
“There has been an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Shurugwi, which has seen more than 50 cattle being affected. The outbreak was detected on Monday last week,” he said.
Dr Chigiji said the Veterinary Services Department had started vaccinating cattle from Gwenhoro Farm and other surrounding areas to prevent further outbreaks.
“As Veterinary Services, we have resorted to vaccinating all cows from that area and other surrounding areas, and our target is to vaccinate 10 000 cattle.
“We have also introduced quarantine. Therefore, no cows are permitted to move to that area or from that area until we are satisfied that the disease has been dealt with,” he said.
Dr Chigiji said they were working hand-in-hand with the police to make sure farmers adhered to movement restrictions.
“We have engaged the services of the police who will monitor the movement of cattle in the province as Shurugwi has been declared a red zone,” he said.
He encouraged farmers from surrounding areas to quickly alert veterinary officers if they observed symptoms of the deadly disease in their livestock.
“We also want to advise farmers and villagers that they should never consume meat suspected to be from infected cattle. Farmers should also observe movement restriction in order to minimise the spread of the disease,” he said.