Buhera veterinary officer Dr Samson Chiduku said the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has failed to implement the national communal dipping service meant to protect cattle from tick-borne diseases due to a shortage of chemicals. He said:
We are failing to provide enough dipping chemicals to villagers and we have abandoned the routine schedule of dipping cattle weekly in summer and fortnightly in winter and autumn.
We are dipping at least once in two months. While we encourage the farmers to buy their own dip chemicals, the harsh economic situation in the district is making it impossible for people to afford dip chemicals.
Reports indicate that to date, 4 000 cattle, with an estimated value of $1,5 million, have succumbed to the disease, leaving farmers despondent.
Theileriosis is caused by not dipping cattle regularly and is transmitted by brown ticks.