Over 50 cattle destroyed for illegal movement

25 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Over 50 cattle destroyed for illegal movement

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri, Sunday News Reporter 

THE Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development is intensifying its call for farmers to refrain from illegally moving livestock without proper documentation. 

The consequences of non-compliance have been stark, with over 50 cattle destroyed since January as a result.

Illegal animal movements have been identified as a significant driver of the transmission of animal diseases across different areas, with foot and mouth disease (FMD) and January Disease being the most feared among them.

Theileriosis (January disease)

Farmers and traders have been warned against the unauthorised movement of cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and wildlife without permits from the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS). Those found in violation of these regulations face the grim prospect of having their animals destroyed, in addition to prosecution, fines, or imprisonment.

The Ministry’s unwavering stance underscores the critical importance of adhering to livestock movement regulations to safeguard animal health and prevent the spread of debilitating diseases. Acting Deputy Director of Veterinary Field Services, Dr Reverend Spargo said farmers who continue not to comply with the law, risk losing their animals. 

“We have noted with great concern the rise in illegal livestock movements. I think this year alone since January we have destroyed over 50 cattle for being moved without the necessary documents which are the livestock movement permits. So, we would like to advise members of the public that it is a requirement by law for all farmers to obtain a Veterinary Movement Permit from DVS before moving any animals. This is a requirement to make sure that the movement of livestock does not spread diseases and pests across the country,” he said. 

He said having the requisite permits prevents stock theft by ensuring that people only move livestock that they own. Moving livestock without the Veterinary Movement Permit, the farmer would be contravening the provisions of Animal Health (Movement of Cattle and Pigs) Regulations, 1984. Dr Spargo said the permit should be accompanied by a police clearance which certifies that the farmer owns the animals that they are moving.

 “These are the reasons we insist and why it is a requirement by law that farmers should have the necessary documents before they move their animals. Farmers can easily get the movement permit from DVS offices dotted across the country in every district, while we also have some sub-district offices where farmers can approach veterinary officers.”

Dr Spargo said members of the public were urged to report all suspicious animal movements to the nearest veterinary office or the police so that these illegal movements are investigated.

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