Tick-Borne Diseases Decimate Cattle Herd

By Cletus Mushanawani
Farmers in five districts of Mashonaland Central are continuously losing cattle due to tick-borne diseases.

Provincial veterinary officer Dr Wiltmore Chikurunhe confirmed the deaths and said the most affected districts were Mt Darwin, Bindura, Mazowe, Shamva and Muzarabani (Centenary area).

“Many provinces have been affected by tick-borne diseases, particularly Theileriosis, better known as January disease. In Mashonaland Central, five districts, namely Mt Darwin, Bindura, Shamva, Mazowe and Muzarabani (Centenary area) reported massive cattle deaths due to tick-borne diseases during the year 2018 and outbreaks seem to be continuing in 2019.

“Theileriosis, which is usually expected during the months of January and February, has been reported throughout the year in 2017 and 2018,” he said.

Dr Chikurunhe attributed the main cause of tick-borne diseases to failure by the Department of Veterinary Services to adhere to the dipping calendar due to erratic availability of dipping chemicals.

“The result has been failure to control tick populations in both communal and resettlement areas. A2 farms have also not been adhering to dipping regulations. In all areas, farmers are advised to dip their cattle weekly and to report sick cattle and cattle deaths to the Department of Veterinary Services.

“Clinical examinations and post-mortems will help establish which disease is at play and to recommend appropriate treatment. In order to control outbreaks of Theileriosis, cattle may be placed under quarantine so that the tick that is carrying the parasite is not spread to new areas. Farmers are advised to observe this quarantine period which is usually 28 days. Illegal cattle movement does play an important role in the spread of tick-borne diseases,” Dr Chikurunhe said.

source:the herald

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