Government rehabilitates 3 000 dip tanks

Trust Freddy 

Herald Correspondent 

More than 3 000 out of the 4 000 dip-tanks have been repaired or revived, and Government plans to rehabilitate 500 more this year, as the Second Republic intensifies the fight against tick-borne diseases.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka said the fight against tick-borne diseases had been paying off with a 49 percent decrease in the number of cattle affected in the first year and another 23 percent in the second year. In 2020, the Government went on a mission to revive all malfunctioning dip tanks to stop the spread of tick-borne diseases, which claimed the lives of over 500 000 cattle between 2016 and 2019.

Speaking during a Question and Answer Session in the National Assembly recently, Minister Masuka said the Government had revived 75 percent of all dip tanks in the country. 

“We have now revived 3 000 dip tanks out of 4 000,” Dr Masuka said. 

“We believe that this year we can be able to revive 500 more dip tanks.” 

Currently, the Government is rolling out an integrated tick and tick-borne disease control strategy on three levels: intensive cattle dipping, vaccination of cattle and acaricide resistance monitoring to control tick-borne diseases.

“The first was to revive the issue of dip tanks. We have more than 4 000 dip tanks. Then, we came up with boreholes and we desilted those so that in every household where there are cattle, we give tick grease for them to apply on the ears, backs and tails of the cattle. 

“It lessened the cattle affected with skin diseases. We had a 49 percent decrease and the following year, it was 23 percent downward effects on the number of cattle affected.”

He also cautioned farmers against rushing to sell their livestock out of concern that they would run out of feed.

“We have observed that farmers are busy now destocking because they are worried about the quantities of the feed that they have, for instance in Matabeleland South, the cattle that were sold from January to February; we observed that the quantities have gone up by 43 percent.

“As the relevant Ministry, we urge farmers to stop rushing to sell their livestock. They should only sell those old oxen and cows. The heifers and other young cows, we should keep them in stock so that we can use artificial insemination to ensure that we have pastures for the calves.”

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