Livestock farmers urged to watch out for skin disease on animals

15 Dec 2015 09:50am


State veterinarians in Outjo and Otjiwarongo districts have called on farmers to be on the lookout for livestock with skin diseases. The rainy season is associated with a livestock skin disease known as Lumpy Skin Disease often caused by insect bites on animals.

Outjo District State Veterinarian, Dr Vimanuka Mutjavikua told Nampa on Monday that swarms of insects transmit diseases from oneanimal to another within a farm or neighbouring farms.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations said on its website that skin lesions can cause severe and permanent damage to hides, and lesions in the mouth, pharynx and respiratory tract commonly occur, resulting in a rapid deterioration in condition of the animal and sometimes severe emaciation, which can persist for months.

Meanwhile, Mutjavikua also urged farmers to keep record of the rainfall in their areas to determine weather patterns. He said keeping record of millimetres of rainfall is important to know whether drought will strike again or not, and for them to prepare themselves by stocking livestock feed, organise extra grazing land or reduce numbers of livestock.

The Outjo animal doctor said farmers who are feeding their animals already should continue to do so even when green grass will be enough, adding that the extra feeding must be mixed with phosphorus, nitrogen and salt in order to keep livestock strong even during drought.

Mutjavikua further said most farmers in his district have started moving back their livestock from farms they had relocated them to during drought this year, but some are doing so without valid documents.

"Farmers who are moving their livestock from one farm to another in the Outjo district must do so with a livestock movement permit," he stated.

Moving livestock without a permit is against the Animal Health Act No. 01 of 2011, which prohibits movement of livestock without a Livestock Movement Permit issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry's Division of Veterinary Services.

On his part, Otjiwarongo District State Veterinarian, Dr Douglas Mudimba urged livestock farmers in his district to return to his office the Animal Health Declaration forms which are due this month.

These documents are livestock census forms which state the number of livestock owned by a farmer, types of vaccines which were given to the animals, the number of livestock that died, and feed supplements being given to the animals.

It is normally given to farmers in January each year and is due in June that same year, and is again given to farmers in July that same year and due in December. Mudimba urged farmers across the country to also deworm their livestock by using the Panacur and Valbazen doses for them to have healthy animals.