Govt working to improve veterinary services
Lusaka, January 17, ZANIS — Government has drawn up a two year phased comprehensive programme of rehabilitating and constructing dip tanks to curb animal diseases in the country.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Luxon Kazabu disclosed that a substantial amount of money has been set aside for the construction and rehabilitation of dip tanks across the country in order to improve veterinary services being provided to livestock farmers.
Mr. Kazabu said the exercise will immediately start this year and run through to 2015.
“We want to reach areas where people are keeping animals but there are no proper facilities to deal with disease outbreaks. Dipping is quite an effective and one sure way of preventing tick borne diseases,” he said.
Mr. Kazabu also said his ministry would enhance veterinary service provision by improving staffing levels and enhancing the capacities of the veterinary officers through repeated refresher courses and provision of adequate and functional laboratories to respond effectively to disease outbreaks.
“These officers are technocrats, they will keep updating their knowledge and we will support their training. We want to increase the numbers so that we can have adequate officers to be able to respond to disease outbreaks,” he explained.
He has meanwhile commended the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for providing K2.7 million for capacity building towards preventing goat plague in Zambia.
The money will be used for extension services and farmer sensitisation programmes.
Goat plague, also known as peste des petits ruminant (PPR), is a highly contagious viral disease manifesting through among other symptoms, nasal discharges, fever and conjunctivitis.
On the reported outbreak of a strange disease that has since killed nearly 50 cattle in the Copperbelt province, Mr. Kazabu said provincial veterinary officers are on the ground to assess the alleged outbreak.