By Innocent Nxumalo
Livestock farmers have been encouraged to group and mobilise resources to purchase cattle dipping chemicals to complement the government programme.
The continuous wet spell has seen livestock farmers battling to contain tick-borne diseases which account for more than 65 percent of livestock deaths in the country.
Matabeleland North Provincial Veterinary Officer, Dr Polex Moyo says it is high time cattle owners intensify community led resource mobilisation initiatives to fight cattle diseases.
“This model of completely relying on government to fund communal dipping programmes is not sustainable as the disbursement of resources may be late and not enough. It’s not wise for farmers to sit back and watch the national herd depleting. Communal farmers need to coordinate themselves and mobilise resources to ensure that they deep at least weekly,” he said.
Dr Moyo also encouraged farmers to regularly de-worm and vaccinate against lumpy skin and black leg diseases which are on the rise especially throughout the rainy season.
He said, “While we celebrate good rains, farmers need o watch out for not only ticks but also tsetsefly and other parasites as they are dominant during wet conditions. These parasites are known for triggering an outbreak of a three-day stiffness disease.
“Farmers need to closely work with the department of Veterinary services to effectively manage these complex summer diseases.”
To cushion small-scale livestock breeders, the government relentlessly unveiled support programmes that need to be supplemented by cattle owners to grow the national herd.