foot and mouth.jpgThe Matabeleland South Veterinary Services Department has appealed to farmers to abide by laid down movement regulations of livestock following a foot a mouth outbreak that has been reported in Gwanda District.

Speaking on the sidelines of a strategic planning workshop following reports of a foot and mouth outbreak in Gwanda,  the department’s Provincial Veterinary Officer, Dr Msongelwa Mangena, attributed the outbreak to the illegal movement of cattle especially from infected to uninfected areas.

 

He said: “Efforts are also being made to track two buffalo bulls identified as the other possible source of the disease.”

 

The sporadic cases of foot and mouth have been reported in Magwe, Mbamba and Big Burn.

 

Dr Mangena said the quarantine movement regulation that has been enforced will be lifted once the situation has been contained.

 

On the general state of livestock in the province, the Department of Livestock Services‘ acting Chief Specialist, Mr Ronald Veremu, said the situation has improved owing to good pasture coverage especially in large scale commercial farms and resettlement areas.

 

On the other hand, farmers in Beitbridge and Gwanda are said to be continually losing their livestock to drought, a situation that has pushed farmers to migrate their cattle to areas with better grazing land.

 

The Veterinary Services Department says other diseases that farmers should look out for this rainy season include anthrax, black leg and tick borne.

 

Owing to the outbreak of foot and mouth, public cattle sales have been suspended until the end of February 2011.