An outbreak of theileriosis, popularly known as January Disease, threatens to wipe off cattle in Chipinge District, with cases having been recorded in Wards 16, 20 and 22.
Chipinge District Livestock Promotion Officer, John Mwandifura confirmed the development, saying a team from the Veterinary Services Department is on the ground to assess the situation.
Chipinge Rural District Council’s Ward 20 Councillor Charles Mugidho told The Manica Post that a number of cattle have already succumbed to the disease but few farmers are reporting cases to the Vet Department. Said Mugidho:
We have received a number of cases where cattle are succumbing to January Disease.
The situation needs urgent intervention as villagers are losing their cattle to the disease every day.
We were told by a local Veterinary Services Department officer that the disease is caused by not dipping our cattle.
We have discovered that only a few farmers are reporting the outbreak of the disease to officials.
Some of them are selling their sick animals to local butcheries for a song.
Others are slaughtering the beasts and selling the meat to fellow villagers, thereby risking so many people’s lives.