Mysterious disease plagues livestock

Livestock in Gutu South are reportedly dying due to an undisclosed disease, and people fear it could spread to other areas.

Cattle and goats are the most affected and the illness is said to kill the livestock instantly. Families in Ward 13 and 14 have lost seven cattle and a number of goats in the past month.

In an interview with The Zimbabwean last week, SaviorMazuru(56) from village head Murikitiko’ s area said they were also battling tick-borne diseases.

“We are currently battling to contain tick disease and most of our livestock have been affected. This mysterious disease kills instantly and it is costing us the few cattle that we have. I have seen two cattle die in unknown circumstances like this,” he said.

Mazuru said the cattle just sway before collapsing. “Communities are very poor and in most instances, cannot watch meat rot so the beef is quickly sold at a very low price to the other villagers,” he added.

Social commentator Arnold Tifugudza said it was important that communities know the health risks associated with eating meat from livestock that have died under unknown circumstances.

“Some of the diseases that kill livestock are detrimental to humans – so the meat should be discarded way out of their reach to prevent the diseases from spreading,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from the Agritex extension officer for the area, identified as Mudhefe, were futile. The Principle Veterinary officer, Stuart Hargreaves’ mobile went unanswered to the time of going to print.

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