Manicaland Veterinary Services Department’s chief health inspector, Roy Dube, has urged villagers and farmers in Zimunya, Marange and Odzi to dip their cattle amid reports of a January disease outbreak.
The disease, also known as theileriosis, is caused by a blood-borne parasite and is transmitted by ticks. Cattle dipping is considered one of the most effective ways of curbing its spread.
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Some villagers have of late been reluctant to have their cattle dipped due to the misconception that cattle contracted the disease after being dipped. Said, Dube:
Contrary to what is circulating on social media that cattle are contracting the disease after being dipped, we are actually urging villagers and farmers to follow this process.
As animal health experts, we are dispelling this because only ticks transmit January disease.
In fact, bringing cattle to the plunge dip tanks is a safe way of ensuring that the animals are wetted completely in the particularly important areas like inside the ears and under the tail where ticks are found and thrive.
Dube added that dipping is effective in destroying parasites such as ticks and lice without injuring the animal.
He implored villagers and farmers to desist from taking affected cattle to communal pastures for grazing in order to avoid mixing the animals and risk spreading the disease.