The Sunday News
Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Midlands Correspondent
AT least five cattle have died in Gokwe North in the past week due to an outbreak of anthrax, the Veterinary Services Department has said.
This comes barely a month after the same area was hit by the same disease which was later contained by the department.
In an interview, Midlands Provincial Veterinary Officer Dr Martin Sibanda said the department will be moving vaccines to the area to deal with the outbreak.
“We have another focal outbreak this week in Gokwe North in areas close to Binga. We are trying to move our vaccines to the place and that has to be done in cold chain so that same temperature is maintained.
“The department will also have to dispatch officers to the area to vaccinate affected livestock,” he said on Friday.
Dr Sibanda urged farmers to burn all carcasses of cattle which die of anthrax. “We would like to urge farmers that they should properly dispose carcasses of cattle that die of anthrax.
If proper procedures are not followed, the infected area will increase especially during the rainy season. Also, people are advised that they should never consume such meat as the disease can be transmitted to humans,” he said.
Late last month, Gokwe North was hit by another outbreak, which also affected humans who consumed contaminated meat.
Meanwhile, Dr Sibanda also urged livestock farmers to round up their cattle every day and monitor their health, as the department fears another outbreak.
The disease also known as January disease claimed more than 370 cattle in Chirumanzu and Mberengwa Districts in Midlands during last rainy season.Dr Sibanda said farmers should watch out for any behaviour by cattle which suggests that they might be infected by the disease.
“We are encouraging farmers to round up their cattle everyday as well as monitor their health as we are fearing another outbreak of the disease.
“They should also look out for symptoms such as depression which could be an indication of Theileriosis.
“Farmers are also encouraged to consult veterinary officers for assistance in buying and administering vaccines,” he said.
Theileriosis, which is a tick-borne disease is associated with warm and wet conditions.