Masvingo (New Ziana) -Following a surge in tick-borne diseases in the neighboring Midlands province, the Masvingo provincial veterinary office has embarked on an intensified dipping exercise and distribution of tick grease to local farmers.
According to Kramer Manyetu, the Masvingo provincial veterinary services director, the exercise is accompanied by an awareness campaign targeting areas adjacent to the January disease hotspots in the Midlands, that include Shurugwi, Mberengwa and Chirumanzu.
The affected Midlands districts border areas in Masvingo that include Chivi, Mwenezi and Gutu.
Manyetu said dipping sessions had been reviewed to three times in two weeks, a move that would go a long way in fighting against the spread of tick-borne diseases.
In addition, every household was being given 1 kg of tick-grease.
Manyetu said the January disease was mainly triggered by inconsistent dipping and urged members of the community to consistently take their cattle to dip tanks nearest to them.
“I strongly advise members of the community to dip their cattle three times in two weeks so that the January disease can be prevented,” he said, adding that in areas that their officials visited communities had shown a lot of enthusiasm.
“I am very thankful the community members in which we are carrying out the awareness campaign, the exercise is actually being taken into practice. The adequate provision of tick-grease will be an exercise that the government will carry out in the country’s 10 provinces with the main aim of decelerating the frustrating effects of ticks. The government made sure that every household with cattle will get 1kg so that everyone will have their cattle safeguarded.”
The same could however not be said about A2 and commercial farmers who were not co-operating with the government in its efforts to tackle tick-borne diseases, said Manyetu.
“We are facing some challenges with the A2 farmers and the commercial farmers who are not governed by the government’s policy, they are reluctant to comply with the ways that the government employed in alleviating the tick-borne disease,” he said.
“We feel that the efforts that we make in fighting against January disease are in vain because as we work on intensifying the dipping program, those big farmers do not make an effort to act but when their cattle graze, they mix with others which at the end get affected by the ticks,” he said.
Manyetu urged A2 and commercial farmers to also take their cattle to their nearest dip tanks for dipping as the problem serious and required a collective quick response.