Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Anthrax outbreak hits Zim

Anthrax outbreak hits Zim

Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:09
HARARE – At least 100 cattle have died and hundreds of people hospitalised 
in Zimbabwe following an outbreak of the cattle disease, anthrax.

Farmers say attempts to control the spread of the disease have been 
undermined by dwindling supplies of vaccines and the failure to prevent the 
movement of cattle.

Supplies of vaccines are reported to have run short, heightening fears of a 
more severe outbreak.

Since cases of anthrax began appearing in some parts of Mashonaland 
provinces, Manicaland and farming areas to the east of Harare a month ago, 
at least 100 cattle have died.

Chenjerai Njagu, deputy director of the state-run Veterinary Technical 
Services Department, said there are fears the outbreak could be far more 
widespread, given that rains can act as a major vector of the disease.

“In the three provinces, we have had about 100 deaths and what is worrying 
is no reportage of some cases. We only pick up some of the cases when people 
come to clinics with symptoms of anthrax,” Njagu said.

The disease is passed to humans through contact with the animals, or eating 
infected meat.

Victims suffer from nausea and fever, developing sores.

In normal times Zimbabwe’s relatively efficient veterinary service would be 
expected to control the outbreak.

These, though, are far from normal times. Njagu said government was 
cash-strapped and urged farmers to pool resources, buy the vaccines and 
government can help with veterinary officers to conduct the vaccination 

Farmers in the communal area say infected cattle are being driven onto fresh 
pastures without hindrance, spreading the disease.

The outbreak threatens to decimate further the already meagre national herd 
that has been steadily declining since the illegal invasions of white-owned 
farms by Zanu PF supporters throughout the country in 2000.

In the southeast of the country there are also growing fears of a serious 
outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. – Gift Phiri 


New Posts: