Monday, January 30, 2006

Zim can't buy vaccine to stop cattle disease

The lack of foreign currency to buy animal vaccines has led to the outbreak of a variety of highly contagious cattle diseases in Zimbabwe that are threatening to spread throughout Southern Africa.

Controllable livestock diseases like blackwater fever, heartwater and
tick-borne diseases have drastically reduced Zimbabwe's national herd from
around six million in 2001 to less than 250,000 today.
The government is remaining tight-lipped about an outbreak of contagious
bovine pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP), or cattle lung disease, which was reportedly
detected in the northwestern district of Tsholotsho in Matabeleland North
province two weeks ago. Joseph Made, Minister of Agriculture said he had not received any conclusive information.

The reported outbreak has caused alarm across Southern Africa. Last week
Botswana ordered its department of veterinary services to go on full alert
to prevent a spillover of the disease, as has been the case with previous
foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks in Zimbabwe.....

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