Fresh outbreak of FMD detected in Mat South

Source: Fresh outbreak of FMD detected in Mat South – Sunday News Jun 26, 2016

Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Farming Reporter
A FRESH outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) has been detected in the Esigodini area of Matabeleland South Province.

Matabeleland South provincial veterinary officer Dr Mbuso Moyo said the highly contagious viral disease was reported last week although he said it was not severe.

“I can confirm that there is an outbreak of FMD at Mpisi dip tank in Esigodini. We confirmed the presence of the disease on Thursday (last week). We don’t know where it is emanating from but it not that severe, it’s mild.

“We are, however, urging farmers in the affected area and surrounding areas to adhere to procedural and recommended movement of cattle as prescribed by the Department of Veterinary Services and avoid any unauthorised movements to guard against the spread of the disease,” said Dr Moyo.

The first recent catastrophic FMD outbreak was reported on 27 April 2014 in Masvingo Province’s Mwenezi District and later spread to the Matabeleland region.

FMD is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock with significant economic impact. The disease affects cattle and pigs as well as sheep, goats, and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. All species of deer and antelope as well as elephant, and giraffe are susceptible to FMD.

In a susceptible population, morbidity approaches 100 percent. Intensively reared animals are more susceptible to the disease than traditional breeds. The disease is rarely fatal in adult animals but there is often high mortality in young animals due to myocarditis or by lack of milk when the dam is infected by the disease.

FMD is characterised by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves. The disease causes severe production losses and while most affected animals recover, the disease often leaves them debilitated.

The first case of FMD in the country was clinically detected on 16 August 2000 in a cattle feedlot in south-western Zimbabwe.
Prior to the outbreak, the country was known as an exporter of meat especially to the European market.

Over the past few months FMD has reported spread to most parts of Masvingo, Midlands, Matabeleland North and South provinces.

The spread has resulted in the Government banning the movement of cattle especially in areas regarded as red zones.

This has also resulted in the suspension of Bulawayo’s most popular cattle auctions at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds.

The Veterinary Department has previously noted that about 2,5 million of the country’s cattle were in danger of being affected by FMD and more than $20 million was needed to vaccinate the animals mostly in the southern parts of the country.

However, the Government does not have enough resources to procure the doses.