The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
MATABELELAND North Provincial Veterinary Officer, Dr Polex Moyo has said there is need to regularise and clearly outline what over the counter medicine for animals are when being purchased by ordinary people.
Dr Moyo revealed this in an interview, while commenting on the recent incident that saw a Nkayi family in Matabeleland North Province losing 21 cattle after mistakenly dozing them with a deadly grain protectant.
“There is also another big issue that does not only relates to poisoning but drug resistance. People just go over the counter and get antibiotics for livestock. How they use it and whether they are using the correct dose rate is not known. So those are the issues the veterinary profession needs to regularise to say what are over the counter medicine for animals that can be accessed by people.”
Dr Moyo said the recent incident also brought out the issue that should lay persons handle animal drugs and inject their own animals as currently witnessed in Zimbabwe. He said in other countries veterinary professions were the ones authorised to administer drugs.
“So that is a question which the profession needs to answer, should lay persons handle drugs and administer drugs on their own even without assistance?”
Dr Moyo said of key importance was also reading the instructions before use even after having had received guidelines for doctors.
“It’s also quite obvious that people should read the instructions before use, never mind what the doctors said but before you use any drug or chemical follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the route of doing things.
“Whether you are giving it through the mouth, nose, ears, eyes or you are injecting into the muscle, vein or under the skin, all these things have got a bearing on the effectiveness of drugs. Should this be left to the lay person like what is prevailing now?” he added.
He encouraged farmers to engage and work closely with the extension officers in their areas for proper guidance. Dr Moyo said another challenge was overuse of known drugs which has seen people administering them on their own.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday 40 farmers from Matabeleland region donated 16 cattle to the Mpofu family. A total of 13 of the cattle were delivered to the family’s homestead in Nhlekisa village, Dolahali area on Thursday.
Two of the 16 will be handed over to the family in the near future as they could not make it to Bulawayo on time while one could not move due to foot and mouth quarantine measures and will be sold so that the family get another one in a free area.
The herd of cattle, comprising some of the best breeds available in the country, cost about US$25 000. The heroic and kind farmers from the region also mobilised other donations, which include cash, hay bales, transport, fuel, medication, dipping vaccines and molasses, which added to total donation value of up to US$40 000.