THE Department of Veterinary Services has urged farmers in Masvingo to dip their cattle regularly after the province lost nearly 400 beasts in one week to tick borne diseases.
In an interview, Masvingo acting provincial veterinary officer Dr Kudakwashe Makwangudze urged farmers to practice the 5-5-4 dipping cycle in order to disrupt the life cycle of the ticks.
“The main problem for Masvingo is the January disease and the main affected districts are Masvingo, Bikita, Zaka, Gutu and Chivi. Last week was our worst in the month of January as we recorded 733 cases and 365 deaths,” he said.
Dr Makwangudze said since the beginning of the year, the province has recorded 1 040 cases and 528 deaths hence the mortalities and cases of just last week were a cause for concern. He said the province has enough chemicals for the season with the department conducting awareness campaigns among villagers and farmers over the issue.
“We want to do awareness campaigns through the local leadership and our staff to find a way forward because our cases are too high.
Then besides that where they have been recorded a case of theileriosis we implement the 5-5-4 dipping where you dip your cattle, then dip after five days, you then dip again after five days and then dip after four days. If you dip within two weeks you have broken the lifecycle and we would have reduced the number of infections,” he said.
“As a department we have enough dipping chemicals that cover the whole dipping season but as I was saying some do not dip their cattle, so we would want to use the local leadership.
If the problems continue after we had held awareness campaigns we would prosecute the farmers but you can’t prosecute before the campaigns.”
During the rainy season, most farmers reported an increase in cases of tick borne diseases.