The Department of Veterinary Services in Manicaland has warned farmers to desist from moving cattle from foot and mouth quarantine zones in order to control the spreading of the disease.

Statutory instrument (SI) 321 of 1993 Animal Health (Foot and Mouth areas) Regulations bans the movement of cattle from a foot and mouth disease area to a clean area.

The provincial Veterinary officer for Manicaland, Dr Charles Guri said if beasts from a quarantined area are moved to a clean area there is potential of spreading the foot and mouth disease into clear zones and the laws of Zimbabwe give the Department of Veterinary Services the power to destroy the cattle.

Speaking during the disposal of 14 beasts that had been acquired by a farmer in Toronto area, Mutasa district from Gutu area which is a quarantined zone, Mutasa district acting veterinary officer Dr Rachel Zengeni said farmers are not supposed to move all cloven-hooved animals in quarantined areas.

“We are here because the farmer moved cattle from Gutu area which is under quarantine for foot and mouth disease, so when the area is under quarantine cattle are not supposed to be moved from that area, cattle, sheep, goats, all cloven hooved animals should not be moved from that area to a clean area which has no foot and mouth disease,” Dr Zengeni said.

Foot and mouth disease is spread to all cloven hooved animals through secretion like saliva and direct contact between the animals and it is very expensive to control as each beast requires 4 doses and one dose costs US$3.