MBERENGWA Rural District Council in the Midlands Province has been hit by an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, it has emerged.
A village head, Jaison Moyo, said the outbreak had affected this year’s farming season, as most farmers who rely on ox-drawn ploughs have had their beasts incapacitated due to the outbreak.
“We have had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in our area and at the moment we are trying to make sure that the situation is under control to ensure cattle from neighbouring areas do not get affected,” he said.
Moyo said the disease was first detected in other villages surrounding the Mberengwa district offices.
“The problem is that some of our cattle share the same dip tanks and the same grazing lands and this has made the disease spread easily,” he said.
Moyo said they had tried to contact Mberengwa veterinary officers, but they ignored their plight.
“We reported the cases to the veterinary officers in Mberengwa when the disease was still at its early stages, but they just kept quiet and they have not taken any action,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from veterinary officers were fruitless, as phones went unanswered.
Recently, Thomas Sibanda, the provincial veterinary officer, was quoted in some sections of the media saying the shortage of chemicals was the major setback in their fight against foot and mouth disease.
“We are faced with shortages of chemicals as our parent ministry has said it does not have money,” he was quoted saying.
“This is delaying the whole process.”