Farming/AgricultureLatest

Midlands takes delivery of 15k doses of tick-borne vaccines

-as Gvt ups animal diseases fight

MARTIN MAWAYA

The Midlands Province has received 15 000 doses of vaccines to kick start the tick-borne disease control program in hotspots areas, senior government official has said.

The integrated tick-borne control strategy is aimed at preserving the national herd and curb the spread of diseases that normally affect cattle during the rain season.

Statistics show that more than 65% of cattle deaths in Zimbabwe are a result of tick borne diseases, that include January disease, Redwater, Heart water and Gall sickness.

Veterinary Services Department chief director, Dr Pious Makaya said the ticks control drive will run in three strategic phases that include dipping, monitoring the resistance in ticks and administration of vaccines after confirming the diseases in an area.

He said the current downpours being experienced across the country will contribute to tick problems in cattle, adding that farmers need to effectively implement control strategies.

Dr Makaya also added that the veterinary department is on a nationwide training of extension officers, livestock production staff and dairy officers in all affected provinces and has since trained over 127 officers who will also train others to use the vaccine.

“After conducting the trainings, the vaccines will be distributed to provincial offices which will then dispatch to hotspot areas, with Matebeleland North and South having so far received 11 000 doses each, while Midlands Province has so far received 15 000 doses to kick start the exercise,” Dr Makaya said.

He said the veterinary services has so far covered six provinces out of the eight which are hotspot areas, with 45 000 cattle across the six provinces being vaccinated.

Adding that the field trial is on course to “ensure the vaccine is used countrywide and confirm its safety and efficacy in different regions of the country”.

He highlighted that the veterinary department has religiously adopted the integrated tick- and tick-borne control strategy.

Dr Makaya added that strict adherence to cattle movement as part of the control regulations will ensure animals with infected ticks do not spread diseases from one province to the other

The vet department has assured farmers that they have enough dip chemicals to cover for the next two months.

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