Foot and mouth hits Mbire, Muzarabani

Foot and mouth hits Mbire, Muzarabani

By Tapiwa Machemedze

THE outbreak of the foot and mouth disease has negatively affected livestock farmers in Mbire and Muzarabani districts of Mashonaland Central, with the government encouraging direct abattoir slaughters to curtail the spread of the disease. 

Livestock production is the backbone of Mbire and Muzarabani economies, with the majority of people earning a living from livestock farming.

However, persistent foot and mouth disease outbreaks have negatively affected farmers in the two districts.

The Government is advocating for direct abattoir slaughters to avoid the spread of foot and mouth disease through the transportation of live animals.

“What is spreading foot and mouth is the transportation of cattle from red zones, where there is high infection to green zones which are disease-free. 

“We don’t prohibit farmers from selling their cattle through direct slaughter, the problem is that farmers want to transport cattle from Mbire where there is foot and mouth to Mazowe which is a green zone, so you will spread the disease to the green zone. So, if it’s a supervised direct slaughter there is no problem,” said Davis Marapira, the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.

Foot and mouth disease control is high on the veterinary services department’s agenda as it seeks to safeguard the national herd.