Govt to carry out cattle branding in winter
Precious Manomano-Herald Reporter
The Government will embark on cattle branding this winter as a measure to reduce stock theft and control the spread of diseases in the countrywide, Veterinary Department has said.
Branding, also known as umtshiso, is a process whereby farmers get a unique mark for their herd from the Registrar General’s Office as a way of reducing stock theft.
The branding exercise, which identifies cattle by their districts and owners using a monitored system, will also enables the Government to control the outbreak of animal diseases.
In an interview, Zvimba District Veterinary Officer, Dr Reverend Spargo said farmers, both communal and commercial should embrace livestock branding as a positive step towards putting an end to stock theft.
He said farmers should be conscientised about the importance of putting personal marks or brands on their livestock urging communities to embrace the cattle branding system so as to protect cattle in the country.
He appealed to farmers to take cattle branding seriously adding that the country would record a sharp decrease in stock theft if all farmers were to brand their cattle.
“We will be working on cattle branding this winter, the exercise will be carried out throughout the country. Communities should embrace the cattle branding initiative which will greatly contribute to the protection of the national herd. Cattle branding makes it easier for owners to identify their livestock if they do not have any brand marks. Let us all play our part to preserve our wealth through various initiatives such as cattle branding. Even if the animal is stolen, its origins can be detected. The aim is to brand all the cattle in the province and we will be working with farmers so that they co-operate,” he said.
Dr Spargo said the branding exercise was normally conducted in winter as animals may be subjected to septic wounds which may take some time to heal. He urged communal farmers to co-operate so that their animals can be positively identified in case of stock theft.
Branding of cattle was not only done in Zimbabwe, but in the whole of the Southern African Development Countries (SADC) region because of cross- border theft of livestock.