Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Foot-and-mouth scare shuts down Mbokodo

Foot-and-mouth scare shuts down Mbokodo


The Veterinary Services Department has ordered Mbokodo abattoir and butchery to shut down operations pending investigations on the outbreak of foot-and-mouth. The picture shows some of the cattle at Mbokodo feedlot

Pamela Shumba Senior Reporter
THE Veterinary Services Department has ordered Mbokodo abattoir and butchery to suspended operations as the government continues to investigate the gravity of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak that was detected in Bulawayo two weeks ago.The government suspended cattle sales in Matabeleland region after the outbreak of the disease at Cattle Sales, which operates from the Zimbabwe Trade Fair showgrounds.

Cattle Sales have also been stopped in some parts of the Midlands province.

Thousands of commercial and communal farmers who practise cattle farming have been affected.

Yesterday, The Chronicle visited the abattoir that rears thousands of cattle and has about 150 employees and established that the slaughter and sale of cattle and beef had been suspended.

Mbokodo abattoir owner, Angus Sean York declined to comment and referred all questions to Matabeleland North provincial head of the department of veterinary services, Dr Polex Moyo.

Dr Moyo confirmed the abattoir’s temporary closure saying the decision was reached due to its closeness to the source of the outbreak.

“We are investigating to ascertain the magnitude of the foot-and-mouth disease out break that was detected in Bulawayo last month. This exercise requires us to totally close all cattle businesses close to the source of infection,” said Dr Moyo.

“We have closed all cattle sales to pave way for the investigations and our department is allowing movement of cattle only for direct slaughter.”

Dr Moyo acknowledged that the development was affecting most farmers and businessmen in the country, but appealed for their patience.

He said some farmers would miss the forthcoming Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Agricultural Show as a result of the outbreak.

“The investigation is a long process and this means it will go beyond the trade fair. We will only allow farmers whose cattle have been declared clean by the veterinary services,” said Dr Moyo.

He said his department would issue a report on the outbreak as soon as investigations are complete.

Farmers and businessman in the region have said the cattle sales ban and the shutting down of Mbokodo abattoir have seriously affected their operations.

An official at West Acre Butchery along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road said: “The shutting down of Mbokodo has really affected our business because that’s where we get our first grade beef. We hope the situation normalises soon.”

The Midlands provincial veterinary officer, Thomas Sibanda said the department had resolved to suspend cattle movement.

He said cattle sales would start when the department was sure that cattle from Zvishavane, Gweru and Mvuma, deemed to be the affected areas, have been vaccinated.

“The same areas where foot-and-mouth has been detected experienced an outbreaks around the same time last year,” said Sibanda.

He said the ban would be reviewed at the onset of the winter season with research showing that the foot and mouth bacteria thrives in hot weather conditions.

The country has over the years experienced regular outbreaks of the disease in cattle rich regions of Matabeleland and Midlands.


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