Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Gvt moves to curb disease

Gvt moves to curb disease

Police have begun an operation to curb the illegal movement of livestock to reduce the spread of foot and mouth disease, a senior Government official has said. The disease has affected most parts of the country including Midlands, Masvingo, Manicaland, Matabeleland south and Matabeleland North provinces.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made confirmed that police have started mounting roadblocks in all provinces to monitor and control stock movement. “Cattle should not be moved out of the FMD zones. If the animals are to be slaughtered farmers should be escorted by veterinary and police officers.

To move cattle, farmers should get permit from the veterinary department and police separately. Without the permits, cattle will not be allowed to move from one area to another,” he said. Minister Made said Government had challenges with people buying cattle from the FMD areas.

He said some of the areas had been affected by drought and farmers need to offload some of the beasts to get money to feed the remaining herd. “I appeal to farmers to abide by the law. Stern measures will be taken against people who carry meat or transport cattle without permits,” he said. Minister Made said the foot and mouth disease had also affected other Southern Africa countries like Botswana and Namibia.

He said foot and mouth was a notifiable disease that should be treated like other diseases such as Newcastle, lumpy skin, anthrax and others. Government, Minister Made said, was also working with the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organisation in controlling the spread of the disease.

“We have a programme to re establish red, green and white zones to control the spread of FMD.” Government has disbursed about $1,5 million towards the control of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) which has affected livestock in most parts of the country. Outbreak areas require to be repeatedly vaccinated at 4 monthly intervals until 6-18 months after the last case has been recorded.

FMD affects livestock production. Cattle and pig herds affected by FMD suffer from depressed production. Affected animals cannot walk to pasture and water causing weight loss. The animals also fail to eat due to the pain of the sores in their mouths. Young calves may die from infection or because their mothers cannot feed them due to pain in their milk udders. Milk yield also falls

FMD is an internationally listed or notifiable disease and it affects the economies of countries depending on cattle and pigs. Countries experiencing FMD therefore suffer from trade embargoes limiting exports of even non-livestock products from affected areas.


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