Zimbabwe: Three dip tanks in Buhera have lost 1 312 cattle between January and February this year due to tick-borne diseases, the district veterinary officer, Dr Samson Chiduku has said.
The affected dip tanks are Mombeyarara with 476 deaths, Chawatama 475 deaths and Gondo has 361.
Dr Chiduku said that the deaths of the cattle is being caused by tick borne diseases because villagers are not dipping their cattle. He said that the ticks are spreading diseases like heart water, theileriosis and red water diseases.
Dr Chiduku bemoaned the level of ignorance of the diseases among the villagers. He said some of them are regarding the diseases as mysterious while others thought that the diseases killing their cattle were one and the same hence they end up giving wrong treatment thereby worsening the condition of the cattle.
“There are misconceptions by farmers that what is affecting their cattle is an unknown disease hence they are reluctant to consult veterinary officers. These diseases are spread from one beast to another by ticks but they are treated differently.
“Some farmers confuse these diseases because they think they are the same so they end up using the treatment for heart water on theileriosis which is a different disease altogether. This escalates the diseases resulting in more cattle deaths. They should consult vet officers first,” said Dr Chiduku.
He urged farmers to avoid using one injection on cattle from different pens because that causes the rapid spread of diseases in their areas.
However, many villagers blamed the problem on the Vet Department which is not providing chemicals for dip tanks.
Ward 5 Councilor, Jane Ziki said the death rate is now alarming and she pleaded with the Vet Department to intervene immediately.
Dr Chiduku also encouraged farmers to pay their dipping fees so that there will be constant supply of acaricide chemical at their dip tanks. He also encouraged them to buy their own chemicals to supplement the Government schedule especially in the rainy seasons.
Villagers however, said they have little money to spare because of the harsh economic conditions. They said that the dipping fees that they pay to Government must be adequate.