The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) on Tuesday slaughtered 28 head of cattle and burnt the carcases in a move meant to curb the spread of Theileriosis disease popularly known as January disease.
January disease is common between December and March and is most prevalent in January hence the name January disease.
The disease is spread through the bite of the brown ear tick and the symptoms include swelling of the lymph nodes under the ears and on the shoulder, cloudiness of the eyes, difficulty in breathing, with froth from the nose and mouth.
DVS Director Jairus Machakwa confirmed the incident, saying the cattle had been illegally moved from Lancaster Farm to Lubuze Diptank, Insiza. Said Machakwa:
The cattle had no Veterinary Movement Permit. Moyo contravened the provisions of Animal Health (Movement of Cattle and Pigs) Regulations, 1984.
The animals were also heavily tick-infested with the Brown ear tick and other ticks, exposing the whole community to January disease and other Tickborne diseases.
Lancaster Farm is under quarantine for Theileriosis which is decimating the national herd.
The illegal movement posed the risk of the spread of specified animal diseases against which quarantine was placed by the Veterinary Authority.
Machakwa said he had the authority to order the destruction and safe disposal of the cattle. He said:
By virtue of powers vested in the Director of Veterinary Services by Section 7, Subsection (3) paragraph (a) of the Animal Health Act (Chapter 19:01) and as read with Section 7, subsection (2) paragraph (a) and (b) of the said Act, the Director orders the destruction of the 28 cattle and safe disposal of the carcasses.
The Provincial Veterinary Officer for Mat South Province or his representative is hereby ordered to destroy the 28 cattle and ensure the safe disposal of carcasses. The destruction and disposal must be witnessed by Police.