Contagious disease threatens 70 000 heads of cattle in Southern Province

More than 70 000 heads of cattle in Southern Province’s Kazungula district are under disease threat – the suspected contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP).

This prompted Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries permanent secretary David Shamulenge to send a team of veterinarians to the area on a fact-finding mission.

“We had reports of some animals having died from suspected CBPP, and we are carrying out post mortems to ascertain the cause of the deaths of the animals,” Shamulenga told local media.

Cattle contract CBPP by inhaling droplets of a causal organism known as mycoplasma mycoides disseminated by coughing in affected animals. The incubation period is between 3 and 8 weeks after exposure.

Shamulenga said the village where the animal deaths were reported was quarantined as part of preventative measures to stop the spread of the disease. Kazungula has a thriving population of 78 000 heads of cattle and is a relatively disease free zone.

Shamulenga said his ministry stepped up cattle surveillance in Southern Province to ensure quick responses to disease outbreaks.

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