Courtney Matende Midlands Reporter
The Veterinary Services Department has vaccinated more than 22 000 cattle in Kwekwe and Gweru districts to control foot-and-mouth, tick borne disease and black leg.
In an interview, Midlands province veterinary officer Dr Munyaradzi Chigiji said while an unconfirmed number of cattle had succumbed to the diseases, thousands had been administered vaccines.
“We have vaccinated a total 22 667 cattle in Kwekwe and Gweru districts for diseases such as foot-and-mouth and black leg to provide resistance to the cattle,” he said.
Dr Chigiji said Kwekwe District had also seen a surge in cases of lumpy skin in cattle in the past week.
“There have been cases of lumpy skin and Kwekwe was the most affected with 29 cases this past week,” he said.
Dr Chigiji said black leg disease had been recorded in has Kwekwe and Gweru districts.
“Black leg has affected 530 cattle in Kwekwe and 430 cattle in Gweru,” he said.
“The situation is, however, under control as teams are on the ground monitoring and vaccinating any suspected cases.
“We are working with farmers in the province to control the tick-borne diseases and the districts that have received dipping chemicals are controlling ticks.
“The districts that have received the vaccination chemicals are able to dip their cattle to control ticks. Once we control ticks we are able to control the disease. All of the cattle from farms long Matobo Road from Gweru to Silibela have been vaccinated.”
Dr Chigiji said they were expecting more chemicals soon. He urged farmers to prepare for the dry season ahead by preparing supplementary feeding in the wake of limited pastures they have following poor rains received during the rainy season.
“We would like to urge farmers to start preparing for the dry season that is coming because the province did not receive enough rains,” he said.
“So, we are going to experience shortages in pastures and, therefore, the need by farmers to start preparing supplementary feeding for their livestock. The problem arises when a farmer starts preparing supplementary feed when the livestock are already in a crisis, it will become difficult to get the cattle feed.”