The foot and mouth disease that was threatening viability of the beef and dairy sectors in Chipinge for the past two years is now under control, positioning the district on a better place to increase its herd.

Chipinge district is known for producing milk in abundance as well as pedigree bulls but the herd was under threat from foot and mouth, killing up to 85 percent of cattle in some farms.

The veterinary services office says the situation that was threatening the beef and dairy industry in Chipinge is now under control with the district positioned to increase its herd that is estimated at around 100 000 in light of the country regaining its European Union beef market.

“At the moment Chipinge district is free from foot and mouth disease. Efforts are underway to prevent its outbreak and prevent the spread of the diseases,” said Pikitai Chanaiwa, a government Veterinary Officer in the district.

A leading cattle farmer David Joubert who is known for producing pedigree bulls as well as rearing dairy cattle says the availability of vaccines and cattle movement control is a necessity to prevent another outbreak after the previous attack resulted in a loss of 85 percent of cattle in his farm.

“About 85 percent of my herd was wiped out by foot and mouth. I am happy that the disease has been contained. There is need to increase disease surveillance and control in order to grow the beef and dairy industry in the district,” said Mr Joubert.

Chipinge is bordered by Save Conservancy and Gonarezhou hence there is greater risk of the cattle in the area being attacked by foot and mouth if measures are not put in place to control the spread the animal diseases.