Umzingwane anthrax ‘contained’

Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
THE government has suspended a ban on the movement of animals from Umzingwane district following last month’s anthrax outbreak, saying the situation was under control.

Last month, the government banned all animal movement from the district to prevent the spread of anthrax to other districts and provinces. The Matabeleland South acting provincial veterinary officer Mbuso Moyo said yesterday: “We’ve since relaxed conditions that had seen animals not being allowed to be transported from Umzingwane. We’re no longer strict on animal movement now.”

He said Umzingwane district has not recorded new cases of anthrax since the government released vaccination doses in December.

“Since we started vaccinating cattle the number of cattle dying because of anthrax has decreased. In the past week we haven’t come across any deaths. I can safely say the situation is now under control,” he said.

Moyo said vaccination had been carried out for free for all farmers in the district.

Following the outbreak of anthrax, the government released 16,000 doses of anthrax vaccine for Umzingwane district.

The outbreak of the virus killed over 45 cattle while 55 people were hospitalised.

Two weeks ago, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development responsible for livestock Paddy Zhanda visited the affected areas and expressed satisfaction over the handling of the situation.

He said the last animal deaths occurred before Christmas, adding that swift action by the government and its partners had brought the situation under control.


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