THE Department of Veterinary Services has warned farmers not to buy livestock vaccines from unlicensed dealers, saying most of their products were fake.
The department’s chief director, Josphat Nyika also warned people not to eat meat from cattle that die of undetermined causes.
“We encourage livestock farmers not to buy vaccines from vendors on the streets because some of these vaccines are not genuine. Farmers should buy their vaccines from registered dealers,” said Nyika. “We are urging our farmers to bring all their animals for dipping so that we reduce ticks and tick-borne diseases such as heartwater and gall sickness.”
Tick-borne diseases such as January Disease are spread among animals by infected tick.
Early this week, Agriculture deputy minister Vangelis Haritatos said over 500 000 cattle worth US$150 million succumbed to January Disease between 2018 and 2022.
Government has unveiled a livestock growth plan which seeks to address a number of challenges affecting livestock productivity, viability and profitability.
Despite the importance of livestock to rural livelihoods, productivity remains low.
This is linked to farmer behaviour, feed unavailability and cost, poor quality of animals, diseases as well as frequent droughts.
Climate-smart livestock production practices such as fodder management and conservation, water harvesting and manure management have been identified as solutions to increasing livestock productivity.