Over 1 000 cattle died last month from Theileriosis also known as the January disease in Mashonaland West province.
Theileriosis is a disease caused by a blood-borne parasite called Theileria, and the disease only affects cattle and is primarily transmitted by ticks.
Chief director of livestock in the Division of Veterinary Services, Josphat Nyika, said three districts in the province have borne the brunt of the outbreak. Said Nyika:
The disease has mainly affected areas like Zvimba, Chegutu and Mhondoro Ngezi. This is due to that the local manufacturing industry has not been venturing into animal vaccine production. As a result, most vaccines were imported.
However, efforts are currently underway to develop a vaccine for the January disease locally, with the first vaccine trial results expected by the end of this month.
Nyika added that outbreaks of Theileriosis were also being experienced in Manicaland, Midlands and Masvingo provinces.
Meanwhile, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Settlement director Jairus Machakwa has urged farmers to dip their cattle three times in two weeks since dipping is the most effective tick control method.