Thursday, August 18, 2022
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HomeNewsDry spell spares livestock from foot rot

Dry spell spares livestock from foot rot

  • The ongoing dry spell has given farmers relief from foot rot, a debilitating disease which causes lameness in livestock.
While rains improve grazing pastures for livestock, excess rains cause trouble for livestock farmers who have to grapple with endless rain-related cattle diseases yet many cannot afford the medicines and drugs needed to save their animals.
Foot rot is a contagious disease in cloven-hoofed mammals that causes inflammation of the foot and subsequent lameness.
It is estimated that close to 75 percent of all diagnosed lameness in cattle is attributed to foot rot. Matabeleland South acting provincial agricultural officer Mr Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu said while it has affected crop production, the dry spell has given livestock farmers relief from foot rot and other rain related diseases.
“When it’s not raining, we don’t have any cases of foot rot because of the absence of mud which brings relief to farmers. When cattle are attacked by ticks, it becomes problematic for the animals,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He urged farmers to frequently dip their cattle in order to prevent foot rot.
“Farmers must follow animal health management recommendations from the veterinary department. Those specifications will protect their animals from ticks and diseases like foot rot and January disease,” said Mr Ndlovu.
According to the Department of Veterinary Services, tick-borne diseases are responsible for about 60 percent of annual losses in livestock.
Frequent dipping is recommended as the panacea to prevent tick-borne diseases.
Livestock specialist Mr Hatitye Zondai said incessant rains cause an outbreak of diseases and farmers must ensure their animals are protected.
“To address tick infestation, farmers must dip their cattle on a weekly basis, for foot rot they must house animals under dry roofs and frequently bath the hooves in copper sulphate. They must also set up fly traps close to the kraals in order to fight insects and flies. They must also vaccinate their animals,” he said. –  Chronicle
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