Whinsley Masara Chronicle Reporter
THE government is working on a law that will bar people from selling or slaughtering cattle that are not branded to curb stock theft, Police National Anti-Stock Theft Coordinator, Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza, has said.
Nationally, police say they receive an average of at least twenty cases of stock theft daily, crime figures which law enforcement wants to bring down.
Snr Asst Comm Makodza, speaking at Phathalika Business Centre in Pumula, Tsholotsho, during an anti-stock theft awareness campaign — said the new law should be operational by December 2017.
Snr Asst Com Makodza said communities must be enlightened on livestock security as livestock was a major source of wealth. Farmers who live close to major roads, he said, should find ways of containing their cattle through fencing or employing herders to avoid accidents.
He said there was resolution arrived at a meeting with neighbouring countries to ensure that all cattle along the country’s borders are branded.
A recent meeting with Botswana Police revealed that the neighbouring country was ahead when it came to branding.
As a result, when their cattle stray into Zimbabwe, they are easily identified.
“Before you do personal branding, one should get a brand certificate which is acquired at the registrar’s office, then purchase a branding iron. The new brand irons should include a lot of details which make a beast easily identifiable,” Snr Asst Comm Makodza told villagers in his first stop on his tour of Matabeleland North Province.
He added: “The branding makes it easy for the owners when they sell their herds. Thieves will think twice before stealing branded cattle as people will quickly notice.”
He said Zimbabwe could also learn lessons from Namibia where cattle are fully branded and calves get ear tags at six months.
“Everything to do with their livestock is computerised and a computer will reflect the cow’s name, when it was born and its owner. When it’s sold, details change immediately and when it’s killed, everything is immediately deleted,” he said.