43 cattle die from suspected theileriosis in Gwatemba

By Providence Maraneli

A theileriosis outbreak scare has hit Matabeleland South Province following the death of 43 cattle in Gwatemba and Lancaster areas in Insiza district.

The disease that decimated herds in most parts of the country last year is suspected to have hit the cattle breeding powerhouse.

“A farmer in Gwatemba lost 17 cattle and he transferred the remaining herd to Lancaster farm and of that 20 have already died. So we are carrying out an awareness campaign to tell farmers about a possible outbreak of theileriosis and we advise farmers to dip their cattle regularly,”
said Dr Ennat Mdlongwa from the Provincial veterinary services department.

With the department having adopted a tight dipping schedule for farmers, government confirmed the availability of enough dipping chemicals for the nation.

“This year, we have already mobilised 600 000 kilogrammes of tick grease and we have distributed to more than 400 000 households, this occurrence close to Mberengwa –Insiza is very worrying which is why the area has been quarantined. we have capacitated the veterinary offices and we have seen a 47 percent reduction in this disease as a result of these interventions,” said Dr Anxious Masuka, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement.

The Veterinary Services Department has already quarantined cattle in Gwatemba and Lancaster areas in a bid to control the spread the deadly disease.