Foot And Mouth Vaccines Run Out In Mat South

A fresh outbreak has been reported in Stanmore, 30km outside Gwanda town three months since the disease was detected and put under control.

Although officials at the Veterinary Department refused to speak to Radio VOP, farmers who visited the centre to seek assistance for their ailing cattle said they were disappointed not to get help.

“We are afraid we will have to watch our cattle die after we were told by the vet officials that they were still awaiting supplies from Harare, we are being turned away and being told to seek alternatives such as wound powder and penicillin”, said Sikhumbuzo Sibanda a peasant farmer in Stanmore.

Vet officials have since mounted a roadblock at Esigodini in endeavour to control the movement of cattle.

Foot-and-mouth disease or hoof-and-mouth disease is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease affects cloven-hoofed animals. The virus causes a high fever for two days followed by blisters inside the mouth and on feet that rupture and cause lameness.

A shortage of beef is likely soon as containment of the disease demands trade restrictions and quarantines and the elimination of infected cattle.