Gokwe South district in the Midlands province has been hit by foot- and-mouth disease which has affected cattle at three dip tanks, provincial veterinary officer Dr Thomas Sibanda has said.
BY Stephen Chadenga
Sibanda said his office received reports of the outbreak this week. He said the Veterinary Services Department had moved swiftly to control the movement of cattle in and out of the affected areas.
“We received reports this Wednesday of a foot-and-mouth outbreak in Gokwe South bordering with Chirisa,” Sibanda revealed at a Midlands business indaba in Gweru yesterday.
“We have dispatched our team from the veterinary department on the ground to assess the situation and by the end of this week we should have full information on the number of cattle affected, but what we know at the moment is the disease was detected at three dip tanks in the area.”
Responding to queries by farmers in the province who wanted to know what the government was doing to control the outbreak of foot-and-mouth in the Midlands, Sibanda said though his department was on high alert, they faced the challenge of shortage of chemicals for vaccination.
“Our major challenge is we don’t have adequate vaccines to prevent the virus from spreading further,” he said.
Two months ago there was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Mvuma and last year in November Mberengwa and Zvishavane districts were hit by the disease.
He said the department was in the process of setting up a Midlands Foot-and-Mouth Taskforce to help control the spread of the disease in the province.
“We have multiple outbreaks and the main culprits are those who illegally move cattle from one area to another in the province,” Sibanda added.