Tick-borne disease spreads rapidly- Choma

Over three hundred cattle have died from the Tick Borne disease that has hit Choma district in Southern Province.

Choma District Fisheries and Livestock Coordinator Alex Hachangu says the Tick Borne disease is spreading rapidly affecting all the 16 veterinary camps in the district.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Choma, Dr Hachangu said about nine hundred and twenty cattle in all the 16 veterinary camps across Choma district are affected by the tick-borne diseases and three hundred and nineteen have so far been lost.

Dr Hachangu said the department has since moved in and officers are on the ground to make sure the livestock disease is put under control.

“As a department we are doing everything possible to prevent further loss, three hundred and nineteen (319) animals is a very big loss to the farmers, but I am happy to report that the number of cattle dying is now reducing.” He said,

He noted that, sadly, this year, the department has recorded an increase in the number of cattle dying from the tick-borne disease, compared to recent years, due to an increase in the number of non-factional dip tanks in the district.

Dr Hachangu said the department working together with the district administration and the local authority has advised farmers in Choma district to resuscitate non function dip tanks using Constituency Development Funds (CDF).

Dr Hachangu further disclosed that the Department of Fisheries and Livestock in the district is also targeting to vaccinate about four hundred and fifty thousand (450,000) cattle against Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), adding that so far the department has managed to vaccinate about forty thousand (40,000) cattle.

Dr Hachangu said the vaccination exercise which was scheduled to run from 10th to 27th February 2023 has been extended to run up to 15 March, 2023, to allow for all the cattle in the distrct to get vaccinated.

He explained that the department delayed reaching the target on time due to floods as well as transport challenges.