Ministry investigates Zambezi cattle deaths

Ethano: Lugeretzia Kooper ONGOMBE YASA … Aaniimuna moshitopolwa shaZambezi oya popi kutya kehe esiku ohaya penduka noongombe dha sa.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform has deployed a team to the floodplains of the Zambezi region to investigate the cause of cattle dying at an alarming rate since July.

Farmers have lost hundreds of animals already, and cattle are continuing to die on a daily basis.

The affected areas are Impalila Island, Luhonono, Ikaba, Nsundwa, Ihaha, Nakabolelwa, Ivilivinzi, Muyoyeta, Kasika, Mbalasinte, Nantungu, and Nankuntwe.

The cattle reportedly show symptoms such as weakness, an inability to stand, and diarrhoea – resulting in death within days.

Ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko yesterday said the ministry’s team would determine whether other diseases, apart from the already confirmed hemorrhagic septicaemia and heartwater disease are present in the region.

“After the factual findings, we should have a clear roadmap for action,” he said.

An affected farmer in the Ikaba area, Kakambi Mbeha, last week said all 86 villages in the area are affected.

He said he, along with seven other farmers, have lost a total of 264 head of cattle so far.

“This is only for eight farmers, and we are not the only farmers affected. We are losing animals, and there is very little presence of veterinary officials.

“All they do when we report to them is tell us to vaccinate our animals, and we have been doing that. However, our animals keep dying.

“If this continues, the government has to give us relief aid,” Mbeha said.

Another farmer, Rodrick Silishebo, said he has lost about 22 head of cattle so far, despite being proactive.

“I have vaccinated all my cattle, but they keep on dying. I really don’t know what to do anymore,” he said.

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