The country’s national herd is under threat from the deadly tick borne disease that has already wiped out thousands of cattle in various parts of the country.

Livestock farmers in Mashonaland West and East provinces have a sad tale to tell.

They have this year alone lost huge capital following the outbreak of the tick borne disease which has claimed large numbers of their herds, leaving some almost unable to recover.

Veterinary Service Department Director, Dr Josphat Nyika said it is still compiling latest figures of tick borne disease related cattle deaths but confirmed that thousands of cattle succumbed to the outbreak since January up to date.

“Tick borne disease, also known as January disease as it is prevalent between December and March, claimed over 50 000 cattle last year, which constitute about one percent of the 5.5 million national herd,” he said.

The government has released US$2,8 million for the importation of dipping chemicals and the country owes about US$3 million to suppliers in Botswana.

The fall in the national herd also spells out an increase in importation of dairy products, something the country has been trying to reverse in order to cut on foreign currency expenditure.