Ministry struggles to contain foot-and-mouth outbreak

Agriculture deputy minister (Livestock) Paddy Zhanda yesterday said a foot-and-mouth outbreak in Matabeleland had not yet been completely contained.

Source: Ministry struggles to contain foot-and-mouth outbreak – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 13, 2016


Zhanda was responding to a question from Bulawayo Metropolitan Senator Agnes Sibanda, who demanded to know the status of the foot-and-mouth situation in Matabeleland, given that very few cattle were exhibited at the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

“Yes, admittedly there were no big numbers of cattle at ZITF, and the animals that were there were already fattened and ready for slaughter after the exhibition,” he said.

“Foot-and-mouth disease is a problem in Matabeleland, but we do not want to rely on vaccination of cattle only to control it because they (vaccines) are expensive and we buy them from Botswana.

“We do not want to centralise marketing of cattle, which will spread foot-and-mouth. What we are encouraging farmers to do is that the sale of cattle and establishment of feedlots should be done at the place where the cattle are produced so that small-scale farmers do not have to transport their cattle to Bulawayo.”

Zhanda said such measures reduced the prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease.

“Even in our negotiations with international animal health organisations, what comes out is that we should quarantine and fatten cattle at decentralised points to ensure there is no disease outbreak,” he said.