5 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Livestock Condition Healthy

The condition of livestock in most parts of the country has improved significantly due to available grazing and supplementary feeding in drought-prone areas.The Zimbabwe Farmers Union crop and livestock report has indicated that livestock condition is generally good because of the enhanced availability of grazing.

The report noted improvement especially in Matabeleland North and South.

"Livestock condition in Matabeleland North and South is still recovering from the dry conditions which caused shortage of water and grazing in most parts of these provinces," states the report.

ZFU second vice president, Mr Berean Mukwende encouraged farmers to continue dipping their cattle to reduce outbreaks of tick-borne diseases.

He said cattle in most communal areas were dipping although there were still some challenges in some commercial farming areas.

"Commercial farmers should buy dipping chemicals and conduct the operation at their farms to avoid the spread of livestock diseases during this period," he said.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president, Mr Wonder Chabikwa said tick- borne diseases were still a challenge in some areas.

"Farmers should increase dipping intervals to reduce disease out -breaks. In Matabeleland North and South, farmers are benefiting from the Government supplementary feeding programme and with the improvement of grazing, cattle deaths have declined," he said.

Acting principal director Livestock and Veterinary Services Mr William Shereni recently said livestock in Matabeleland South and North, Masvingo, the Midlands province and some parts of Manicaland South like Buhera have since benefited from the programme. He confirmed that livestock deaths related to malnutrition had also declined in these areas.

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