The Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Obatoulo Ushewekunze says the high rate of cattle deaths in Hwedza and other parts of Mashonaland East Province is due to tick borne diseases as a result of prolonged periods of non-dipping.

Dr Ushewekunze said there has been an erratic supply of dipping chemicals due to perennial lack of resources. 

He said the department should be priorised in the allocation of resources that should go towards the procurement and manufacture of dipping chemicals which require foreign currency.

She also explained that some farmers do not pay for dipping services that are carried out by the department on a partial cost recovery basis, while insisting that farmers should pay the mandatory fee of $2 per animal per year.

“If farmers pay the annual fee, the money raised will be used to procure dipping chemicals and that will see the cattle being dipped regularly,” she said. 

She also suggested that farmers find alternative means of ensuring their animals are dipped periodically.

Thousands of cattle have been lost in parts of Mashonaland East Province especially among the communal farmers, at a time when the government is working towards rebuilding the national herd and restocking.