Farmers warned against illegal cattle movement

By Providence Maraneli

THE Veterinary Services Department has burnt more than 20 cattle illegally moved to Gwanda from Insiza where theileriosis, commonly known as January Disease, was reported in January.

The cattle breeding province’s herd is under threat with revelations that some farmers are illegally moving cattle from quarantined areas.

Barely a month after the Veterinary Services Department slaughtered and burnt six cattle which were illegally moved in Sizeze area, 28 more cattle have been burnt after the livestock was moved from Lancaster Farm in Insiza where theileriosis was reported early this year.

“Remember in January we reported an outbreak of theileriosis in Insiza at Lancaster Farm and unfortunately the farmer illegally moved his cattle to Lubuze and we got to know after his cattle started dying and we had to destroy them,” said Dr Enat Mdlongwa, Matabeleland South Provincial Veterinary Services Officer.

For a province that lost livestock to drought between 2019 and 2020, the need to preserve the herd is of paramount importance.

“I urge farmers to take heed of our call to protect our herds. They should not move any herd without authorisation. We are battling diseases like theileriosis in the province that has a potential to decimate herds and once we say this area is under quarantine, farmers should follow that call,” said Mdlongwa.

Theileriosis is a cattle disease caused by a species of theileria-blood-borne parasite and is general transmitted by ticks.