Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Guard against tick-borne diseases, farmers urged

Guard against tick-borne diseases, farmers urged

Locadia Mavhudzi Midlands Correspondent
The Midlands Veterinary Services Department has urged farmers in the province to start stocking vaccines that guard against tick-borne diseases. In an interview, Midlands deputy provincial veterinary officer Dr Munyaradzi Chigiji said the province was on high alert for tick-borne diseases which are normally a menace during the rainy season. He said the disease has over the years been affecting Gokwe and Mberengwa districts.

“We, therefore, urge farmers to start stocking and from time to time, vaccinate to prevent their herd from acquiring tick-borne diseases.
“As a province, we have enough stocks of acaricide dipping chemicals. With the start of rainy season, we have changed cattle dipping frequency from fortnightly to weekly,” he said. Dr Chigiji said while most smallholder communal farmers depend on the communal plunge dip tanks, it is increasingly becoming common for individual farmers to conduct their own dipping exercise using knapsack sprayers.

“It is important for the farmers to be knowledgeable on how to conduct spray dipping so that it can be effective. Different species of ticks tend to have different preferred areas to perch on the cattle. An example is the brown ear tick which perches on the interior surface of the ears, with the blue tick preferring the neck area.

“The most dangerous one is the bont-legged tick which sits either on the udder/groin area or around the vulva sections,” he said. He said ticks account for 20 percent of cattle deaths recorded in the country annually.

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