VILLAGERS and farmers in Zimunya, Marange and Odzi areas have been called upon to dip their cattle amid reports of a January disease outbreak.
Manicaland Veterinary Services Department’s chief health inspector, Dr Roy Dube, said the disease, also known as theileriosis, is a serious problem in cattle and dipping them is important in preventing its spread.
January disease is caused by blood-borne parasites and is transmitted by ticks.
A single infected tick can spread the disease to other animals.
“Contrary to what is circulating on social media that cattle are contracting the disease after being dipped, we are actually urging villagers and farmers to follow this process. As animal health experts, we are dispelling this because only ticks transmit January disease.
“In fact, bringing cattle to the plunge dip tanks is a safe way of ensuring that the animals are wetted completely in the particularly important areas like inside the ears and under the tail where ticks are found and thrive,” said Mr Dube.
He added that dipping is effective in destroying parasites such as ticks and lice without injuring the animal.
Mr Dube urged villagers and farmers to desist from taking affected cattle to communal pastures for grazing in order to avoid mixing the animals and risk spreading the disease.