MASVINGO – Another round of disaster looms in Gutu as cattle in the sprawling district have
gone for five months without dipping.
Although official figures could not be obtained Gutu is one of the country’s districts that is hard hit by a disease called theileriosis also known as tick-borne disease which is caused by ticks.
Thousands of cattle died in the last two years and many farmers have been left with nothing after losing up to 40 herds of cattle each. Gutu has a total of 125 608 cattle, according to figures obtained from Agritex. Zimbabwe used to be one of the suppliers of the best meat to the European Union but the industry has collapsed because of neglect and foot and mouth disease outbreaks that are rampant in the country.
The Mirror confirmed from reliable sources that Government’s Veterinary Services Department
has not been able to supply the district with chemicals for the last five months. Cattle are supposed to dip once every week and thismean s that there has been no dipping for 20 weeks.
“Cattle here are in a sorry state. They are infested with ticks and farmers cannot afford the chemicals because they are very expensive,” said Philip Mahachi, a farmer from Nyazvidzi.
Efforts to get a comment from Acting Veterinary Department director, Dr. Ndlovu were futile.
Official figures indicate that 20 000 cattle were lost to tick diseases last year alone although some analysts say that the figure is conservative.
The problem has been worsened by the drought which has seen boreholes that supply water to dip tanks drying up in most parts of the district. In Ward 4, Nyazvidzi for example all boreholes have either broken down because of lack of maintenance or they can no longer reach the dropping
water tables. https://masvingomirror.com