Panic has gripped livestock farmers in Chipinge as foot and mouth threatens production after reports that the disease is spreading at an alarming pace.

Luiperdsvlei Farm with a herd of over 200 is among the heavily affected.

Luiperdsvlei farm belonging to David Joubet is one of the country‘s leading brahman pedigree bulls breeder and once a leading milk supplier in Chipinge.

The farm has been severely affected by foot and mouth with 76 milking cows already quarantined.

Farm owner Joubet said the foot and mouth disease has drastically reduced his milk supply by an average 3000 litres per day within a week following the recent attack on his cattle.

He said failure to control foot and mouth spells disaster for the dairy industry and brahman pedigree bulls breeding in the country.

Joubert said there is need to curb illegal movement of cattle to control the spread of the diseases that once killed 80 percent of the cattle on his farm in 2003 reducing milk production to 1 000 litres from 13 000 litres per day and threatening the brahman pedigree breeding.

If foot and mouth is not urgently controlled, it will not only affect milk production but will affect both the quality and quantity of the national herd.

Reports indicate that thousands of cattle could have contracted the highly contagious disease, a situation that has sent many farmers in the district into panic as they risk incurring huge livestock losses.