The Veterinary Department has put down and disposed of 17 herd of cattle infected with foot and mouth disease at Arduli farm 7 kilometres south of Chegutu.

Most of the herd is of simmental and brahman cross breed and include one boran bull worth between $4 000 and $5 000.

Among the 17 herd of cattle there is one stray cow from the surrounding farms.

The carcasses are being disposed of through a process of burning using firewood, tyres and diesel.

Veterinary Services director Dr Josphat Nyika said the origins of the disease have not yet been identified although investigations are still ongoing.

He added that the remaining herd at Arduli farm numbering over 200 is safe from the foot and mouth disease since a vaccination process was undertaken.

Foot and mouth disease one of the most highly contageous diseases affecting cattle with devastating effects to a farmer’s herd.