Treasury allocates $67,6m to livestock vaccines

Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Treasury has allocated a supplementary Budget of $67 626 000 to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement’s Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) for the procurement of dip chemicals, vaccines and animal pest and disease surveillance to curb livestock deaths.

This comes as more than 80 000 cattle have succumbed to tick-borne diseases countrywide.

DVS director, Dr Josphat Nyika yesterday confirmed the development.

He said through the supplementary Budget, the department will be able to settle payments to dip chemical suppliers and the Botswana Vaccine Institute and receive an additional 500 000 doses of foot and mouth disease vaccine.

“The DVS has been allocated a $67, 6 million supplementary Budget. The $28 million will go towards procurement of dip chemicals, $30 million vaccines for foot and mouth disease, rabies, anthrax and Newcastle.

“The balance will be used to support programmes for dipping, vaccinations, surveillance, animal pest and disease surveillance, disease control and animal health extension.

“More than 80 000 cattle have died of tick-borne disease, but with this supplementary Budget we will be able to buy enough dip chemicals that will see us through to the end of the year,” he said.

He said the department needed to stock dip chemicals for the next rainy season.

“In the meantime farmers are encouraged to provide supplementary feeding to their livestock because in winter, grass would have lost nutritional value. They can feed either with commercial stockfeeds, hay bales or crop stover,” he said.

Dr Nyika also advised farmers to de-worm their livestock and vaccinate against anthrax, botulism, quarter evil which normally occur this time of the year. Farmers are also urged to vaccinate against lumpy skin disease which occur during the rainy season.

“We also warn farmers against moving livestock without veterinary movement permit to avoid spread of diseases such as January disease and FMD,” he said.

He said the condition of livestock in most areas was fair although it could deteriorate between October and November.

The Second Round Crop and Livestock report has revealed that diseases have remained the major cause of livestock deaths countrywide with 69 percent of cattle deaths in 2018 attributed to diseases.

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