Botswana: Measles Affects Beef Industry

Francistown — North East acting district agricultural coordinator, Mr Zibani Mazonga says beef measles continues to pose a serious threat to the country's beef industry.

Speaking during a beef measles national strategy workshop in Francistown recently, Mr Mazonga said if left unchecked, the disease had the potential to bring the beef industry to its knees, as it affected about 10 per cent of slaughtered cattle.

He called on farmers to fight the disease and eradicate it once and for all.

Mr Mazonga's sentiments were echoed by Mr Milan Mpofu, a technical officer with the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security, who said the country was losing a lot of foreign revenue due to the disease.

Mr Mpofu said animals from rural settlements and cattleposts were the most affected, as people relieve themselves in the bush.

He said major villages and towns were better off, thanks to water system toilets.

He however said where there were sewage line leakages and areas where sewage ponds were not fenced, cattle tended to be affected by beef measles.

As part of a broad prevention strategy, workshop participants suggested that the situation called for the cordoning off of people's residences from animals pastures.

They also said that there was need for intensified public education from as early as primary school.

Measles is a parasitic disease caused by a cystic form of human tapeworm called Taenia saginata.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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