Mkushi in suspected cattle disease outbreak

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—-Livestock farmers in Kalubula area of Chief Shaibila in Mkushi District have appealed for prompt action to address a reported outbreak of cattle disease.

Spokesperson for Kalubula Livestock Farmers, Hodgen Shimunzhila, told ZANIS that at least 30 cows have died since May this year following the outbreak of a disease in the area. 

Mr Shimunzhila explained that livestock farmers in the area had first noticed a loss of appetite among their cows, adding that the animals then started discharging hard dry dung.

He elaborated that most farmers said the cows died from this affliction within two weeks with swollen gall bladders.

Mr Shimunzhila expressed concern that the disease would spread to more cattle if left unattended to, adding that he has since reported the matter to the District Veterinary Office.

Commenting on this development, Mkushi Veterinary and Livestock Manager, Peter Kabichi, confirmed that he had received reports of the disease outbreak from Kalubula.

Mr Kabichi stated that the disease was tick-borne and could be treated and controlled by dipping the cattle as well as by injecting the appropriate drug.

He said his office had immediately relayed these necessary measures to the affected farmers, adding that the veterinary department would soon follow up to monitor the applications of these interventions.

He noted that several parts of the district had recorded outbreaks of tick-borne, such as Anaplasmoisis, in recent years, saying that the best solution towards addressing the disease spread was regular dipping of cattle.

Mr Kabichi, however, disclosed that East Coast Fever (ECF) had killed the highest number of cattle in the district from December last year to the first quarter of 2013.

He said according to the recorded confirmed cases, 67 cows are said to have died from this disease during that period.

Mr Kabichi said the veterinary department had since applied measures such as sensitizing farmers on livestock disease management as well as vaccination of animals to gain some gradual control of the disease spread.