19 Nov, 2023 - 00:11 0 Views
Dr Josphat Nyika

The Sunday Mail

Sunday Mail Reporter

GOVERNMENT has procured over 1,5 million kilogrammes of tick grease that will be distributed to thousands of rural households under the Presidential Tick Grease Scheme, which is geared towards reducing the prevalence of tick-borne diseases.

Tick-borne diseases are a major threat to the livestock sector, especially during the rainy season.

Directorate of Veterinary Services chief director Dr Josphat Nyika said: “The Government has done its part by securing at least 1,5 million kg of tick grease; this is on top of the dip-tanks that have been rehabilitated countrywide.

“All this is in preparation for the rainy season, where we intend to counter tick-related diseases, especially the dreaded theileriosis (also known as the January disease).

“On top of that, we also made available all the required equipment for cattle branding at every dip-tank and each one is manned by at least two people trained in the process of branding. To date, we have branded 2,6 million cattle.”

Livestock mortality has gone down by 68 percent as a result of the programme and rehabilitation of community dip-tanks.

During the rainy season, livestock become susceptible to diseases such as theileriosis when exposed to damp conditions.

The January disease is common between December and March, and is spread through the bite of a brown ear tick.

Statistics from the department show that more than 500 000 cattle succumbed to tick-borne diseases between 2016 and 2022.

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