North Western Farmers Warned of Possible Animal Diseases

North West farmers have been warned of an expected increase of animal ticks, internal worms, flies and mosquitoes that are carrying diseases due to the heavy rains experienced recently in the province.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services unit, most of the ticks that will be hatching will be carrying the diseases already, resulting in increased incidences of diseases such as Gall sickness, Red-water, Heart-water and Spirochetosis. Again, cases of Lumpy Skin Disease, Rift Valley Fever and Anthrax infections which can be associated with the increased population of flies and midges are also expected.

Director for Veterinary Services in the Department Dr Langa Madyibi said: “Worms that are already inside the gastrointestinal system of animals come out with the faeces, and after good rains, the hatched larvae of worm are taken in as the animal grazes, causing anaemia, weight loss and death to animals. It is therefore expected that the worm burden of animals will increase after good rains.”

Madyibi advised farmers to always de-worm their sheep and goats with an effective remedy immediately after the onset of good rains, adding that care must be taken to ensure that the correct dosage of the medicine is given as this can result in resistance to medicines if there is under-dosage. “The only way of preventing Lumpy Skin Disease is to vaccinate and such vaccination should have happened in winter before the onset of rainy season. “To prevent the transmission of infectious agent into the eyes of the cattle, causing blindness, farmers are advised to apply fly repellent ear tags,” said Madyibi.

Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Desbo Mohono said it cannot be ruled out that an outbreak of diseases can occur depending also on the immune status of the community. She said care should be taken to vaccinate animals for diseases such as Rift Valley Fever and Anthrax on a yearly basis, to avoid immunity diminishing.

“We therefore urge our farmers to keep their eyes open for any possibility of animal diseases outbreak during this season, and ensure that such cases are timeously reported to our State Veterinary offices found in all the Districts of our Provinces,” said MEC Mohono.

Taken from