Cattle disease ravages southern Zimbabwe
from REGERAI PEPUKAI in Masvingo, Zimbabwe
MASVINGO – ZIMBABWEAN authorities have banned the sale, slaughter and movement of cattle in the Masvingo Province following an outbreak of the anthrax and foot and mouth diseases
All public cattle auction sales have been banned while the movement of cattle has also been suspended as the Department of Veterinary Services imposes stringent measures to minimize the spread of the
The slaughter of cattle for ceremonies such as weddings and funerals has also been suspended amid concerns from villagers.
Masvingo Provincial Veterinary Officer, Ernest Dzimwasha, confirmed the outbreak but could not provide figures.
“We are currently fighting these two cattle disease and our men are on the ground to ensure that all the cattle in the affected areas are vaccinated,” said Dzimwasha.
“Chiredzi and Mwenezi districts remain the worst affected and we will lift the ban only if we are satisfied that the disease have been eradicated,” added Dzimwasha.
Government last month declared the cattle diseases outbreak a national disaster by the government
Officials from the Veterinary services said that at least 1 000 cattle succumbed to the disease in less than two months.
“The figure of those that have died could be much higher as reports from the affected districts are coming in daily,”added the source.
Some villagers in some of the affected areas have complained bitterly over the stringent measures imposed by the veterinary services arguing
that it will affect their daily lives.
“Imagine that I am being banned from slaughtering my beast even at a funeral or wedding,” said Simon Njalavani of Mwenezi.
“The only logical thing to do is to make sure that Veterinary officers are in all the affected areas and inspect all the cattle on time including those that we might want to slaughter for funerals and weddings,” he added.
However, it emerged Department of Veterinary services is short staffed, which is hampering efforts to eradicate the diseases.
The Zimbabwean government froze the recruitment of new staff into the civil service and the problems continues to haunt the Department of Veterinary services especially at such times of disease outbreaks.
The outbreak of disease is likely to affect the availability of beef products in several areas in southern Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News
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