Vet officers kill 25 livestock at roadblock

A 47-YEAR-OLD St Alberts farmer was arrested and four of his cattle were killed and burnt at a police roadblock in Centenary while his Muzarabani counterpart’s 21 goats suffered the same fate yesterday after trying to illegally drive them away from the foot-and-mouth affected Muzarabani district.

BY SIMBARASHE SITHOLE

Gore Rema (47) was caught by veterinary officers in a bushy area in Centenary driving his cattle to Concession for safe keeping and was brought to a police roadblock where the beasts were burnt before he was fined $20 for driving the cattle without a permit.

Mashonaland Central provincial veterinary officer Wiltmot Chikurunhe confirmed the incident saying it was not unusual for animals in foot-and-mouth affected districts to be put down. “Since we have placed the province’s eight districts under quarantine and have stopped the movement of livestock due to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth, it is therefore not unusual to hear that we have burnt four cattle and 21 goats in Muzarabani district,” Chikurunhe said.

When NewsDay arrived in Muzarabani, the veterinary officers in conjunction with the police were busy killing and starting fires to burn the infected goats as they try to combat the deadly disease.

Chikurunhe warned farmers to stop the illegal movement of livestock and wait for the veterinary department to give the green light when the disease is brought under control.

“We are giving a strong warning to farmers to stop transporting livestock in the province as failure to comply will result in them losing their livestock, it is illegal to move livestock without permits so they should wait for us to announce through the media the free movement of livestock after we have overcome foot-and –mouth.”

Meanwhile, foot-and–mouth is suspected to have originated from neighbouring Mozambique and entered Zimbabwe through Muzarabani and Rushinga on June 25 this year. The police are assisting in enforcing the quarantine order in the province and have since mounted three 24-hour roadblocks on major roads in Centenary, Rushinga and Bindura.