Anthrax outbreak hits Mbire

By ZBC Reporter
Mbire, Mashonaland Central Province has been affected by an outbreak of anthrax prompting the Veterinary Services Department to place an embargo on the movement of cattle from the province.
The acting provincial co-ordinator, Richard Chipfuwa, said 34 beasts had so far succumbed to the disease in the remote district, which sits on the border with Mozambique and Zambia.
“These (the 34) are the reported cases, but we suspect there could be many more that were not reported. We have since mobilized vaccines to the district’s five dip tanks: Nyatsengwa, Masomo, Tengu, Bonga and Sapa, so that farmers can have the remaining herd saved,” he said.
But a poor road network in the district is making it difficult for veterinary officials to access some of the dip tanks, a situation made worse by the ongoing rains.
The officials, in addition to treating infected animals, are also educating communities against consuming meat from dead animals, because this could pose health risks people.
The anthrax outbreak in Mbire, an arid district rich in an assortment of wildlife, is suspected to have been passed on to livestock by infected wild animals such buffaloes, which are typical carriers of the disease.
Last year, the province lost nearly 1 300 cattle due to anthrax and other livestock diseases.