A Research Officer has raised Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) as a possible threat to the national herd as the country lacks vaccines. Isaac Tausha, a research analytical officer at Competition and Tariff Commission’s raised the threat during the validation workshop of the study of the Zimbabwe Beef Industry in Harare.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) which is an acute infectious disease caused by a virus mostly affects cattle as well as sheep and goats. Isaac Tausha, a research analytical officer said that the government of Zimbabwe, which is targeting to increase the national herd is under financial constraints.
“The country has no form of any drop of FMD vaccine right now… the government is under financial constraints”, said Tausha.
Recently, Botswana donated 473 200 doses of vaccines to contain FMD in Zimbabwe fearing that the disease would spread to their neighbor in the west.
Rutendo Nyahoda, who was representing the Division of Livestock Production and Development (DLPD) said that there is need for resilience so that farmers become prepared when disaster comes as Zimbabwe has been facing droughts in the past.
“The Livestock Production Development (LPD) is under stuffed although there is need to increase the national herd cattle population,” said Nyahoda.
“The grazing areas are continuously decreasing, we hear people are being settled on grazing areas”
According to reports the government aims to increase the national herd from 5.5 million to 5.8 million by the end of this year. Besides cattle dying from FMD, drought has destroyed 16,500 cattle in the past year reducing the national herd in the country. Last year Botswana shot more than 30 Zimbabwean cattle straying into its borders to guard against the disease.