Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
The Department of Veterinary Services DVS) has warned farmers against complacency in dipping cattle as this will result in an increase in tick-borne diseases cases and deaths.
The department said it has enough dip chemicals to last until end of year and all farmers not taking their livestock for dipping will be prosecuted.
Some farmers in communal areas have not been taking their cattle for dipping as they suspect the animals will contract diseases while some in the A2 areas prefer spraying on their own.
DVS chief director, Dr Josphat Nyika said there has been resistance by some farmers to dip their cattle and this would reverse the recent gains of a reduction of 47 percent in tick-borne disease cases and mortality.
“We have scored high on the reduction of cattle mortality rate. Mortality declined by 47 percent due to intensive dipping and application of tick grease.
“Dipping has been going on well at Government sponsored dip tanks but not so good on A2 farms where farmers dip on their own. The practice is not being done appropriately and sometimes the mixing of chemicals is not done correctly,” he said.
Dr Nyika said the law required all farmers to dip cattle so they remain tick free.
“We are educating farmers on the correct way of administering the dip. We are however still recoding cases and deaths from A2 and commercial farms because the dipping is not efficient. We still have some pockets of January Disease in small scale and A2 areas.
Dr Nyika said the condition of cattle countrywide was fair to good although there were some pockets were pastures are now scarce due to veld fires.
“This is the time for supplementary feeding. This is also the time to deworm. We recommend farmers to vaccinate their cattle against quarter evil, lumpy skin and anthrax,” he said.