ZIMBABWE’S fight against cases of livestock deaths due to the January Disease and other tick-borne ailments have started paying off with a marked decrease in fatalities being recorded across the country, a senior government official has said.
The tick-borne disease Theileriosis reaches its peak in January with the government working with farmers in regularly inspecting their cattle for the presence of ticks
Zimbabwe has, in recent years, lost close to a million cattle to tick-borne diseases prompting the government to introduce a raft of measures which included the adoption of the 5-5-4 dipping rota, the Presidential tick-grease programme and the construction and rehabilitation of dip tanks across the country.
In a recent statement, Department of Veterinary Services director Jairus Machakwa said there was a consistent decrease in cases and deaths since 2019 when the government instituted a raft of measures to ensure that farmers do not continue to lose their cattle to January Disease and other tick-borne diseases.
“Government has procured the tick-grease and distributed free of charge to all areas from 2020 up to now and just now we have a vaccine that is almost at the end of its trial period and we are very optimistic that we will continue to improve in the control of January Disease and other tick-borne diseases,” he said.
Machakwa said government intervention saw a decrease in cases of anthrax in cattle and wild animals.
“We now have control over anthrax, just be aware that everything is above board, everything is safe, and there have been no reports of anthrax in the nation as of yet. As a result, we are delighted that our cattle are safe throughout the nation in regards to anthrax.
“We are pleased that the areas that are susceptible to the disease in our nation have been officially documented in a law, the Animal Health Act’s anthrax areas regulations,” he said.
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He said cases encountered last year were quickly dealt with after disbursement of funds by Treasury.
“It is crucial that we have enough vaccine on hand before the anthrax crisis arises, and this is precisely what we are going to do going forward to make sure that we procure stock and vaccinate before the problem comes in,” he said.