12 Cattle die from heartwater at Chefuzwe

By Simon Liseli

Some of the 12 cattle died at Chefuzwe

Twelve (12) heads of cattle have died from heartwater disease in a kraal of Mr and Mrs Mubebo in the area of Chefuzwe, 15 kilometers south of Katima Mulilo.

This unfortunate and worrisome incident occurred on last Thursday to Saturday afternoon where a total number of twelve heads of cattle were declared dead.

Mrs. Ireen Mpambo Mubebo, a teacher by profession, the wife to the Police Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo and a concerned farmer of the cattle post told Caprivi Vision that she did not expect such a loss, as it is the first of its kind to happen in her life.

According to her, she heard about that fearful and painful incident of her cattle being collapsing at the village, and she felt upset.

Mrs. Ireen Mpambo Mubebo, a concerned farmer

Mrs Mubebo added that on Friday night as the incident continued to happen, she called Dr.Yule requesting assistance because her cattle were behaving strangely as she noticed that some of her cattle were walking abnormally, and some were falling down.

Dr. Justin Yule, owner of Zambezi Veterinary Clinic only managed to go on Saturday morning, with his team and upon their arrival they observed that eleven (11) were dead, two in the village and nine in the kraal and the other two were almost dying as they were just lying in the kraal kicking their legs.

In a circular motion, five cattle were sick of which two were aggressive, walking in circle and attacking people, cars and other animals. Three were calm in the kraal but just lying.

“Really I don’t know what the cause of these animal deaths is… and I don’t believe of black quarter, for now I will only put our hope and trust of our loss in God’s hands, because He is the one who knows what is happening” she noted.

She said Dr. Yule with his team did a selective post- mortem of four carcasses to rule in and out the cause of death and according from their findings, cattle died due to mixed infections ranging from tick-borne diseases, heartwater and anaplasmosis (nyoko).

One carcass showed post-mortem changes associated with black quarter and the live animals were showing signs consistent with the above-mentioned diseases.

Zambezi Veterinary Clinic sprayed live animals against tick and vaccinated them against black quarter, anthrax and botulism.

“On follow up, six cattle died after were left, those which were critically sick, and this is sad for a farmer to lose such a big number of cattle due to preventable disease” worried Dr. Yule.

He however described tick-borne diseases as diseases that are spread from one animal to another through ticks, spreading from among the cattle by tick bites.

“It is the owner’s responsibility to institute regular cattle inspection so that once they notice ticks on the animal, tick control mechanisms must be implemented and control measures such as spraying, dipping or application of pour on medicines are in place” he advised.

Seen in this photo are dead cattle put in a whole before they were burnt by fire

He urged farmers to seek help from veterinary offices in the region either government or private veterinary offices, not only help when their animals are dying but help on how to do proper farming in order to have knowledge on what disease to vaccinate during a certain period of the season and supplements to give at what time of the year.

Dr. Yule pointed out that tick-borne diseases are present where there are ticks and gold standards is to do regular tick control by preventing the diseases from attacking one’s cattle.

“Farmers union also plays a critical role in assisting in different ways, but I’m not sure whether there is a functional farmer’s union in this region” he further.

According to Mr. Henry Lion Mwambo who works as a village caretaker said the nightmare all started on Thursday afternoon and he didn’t know anything as cattle went for grazing as usual, he went to water vegetables at the garden and suddenly heard a noise of cattle that collapsed down and later died.

“It was a surprise to me and got shocked for that, we informed madam to come see and came a bit late as she didn’t have transport and found that two were already dead” he explained.

All twelve (12) carcasses were burnt in a big hole.


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