Livestock farmers bemoan high cost of vaccines

Villagers from Sipepa Village in Tsholotsho have bemoaned the high cost of dip vaccines saying it has contributed to the high rate of cattle deaths in the area.

Livestock breeders have bemoaned the massive cattle deaths which continue to succumb to tick-borne and lump skin diseases with an estimated 55 000 cattle having died countrywide this year.

A villager who spoke to CITE, Moses Ncube from Ward 5 in Sipepa said cattle in the area are no longer dipping regularly due to the high cost of vaccines.

“Around our villages, cattle are no longer dipping regularly which is another contributing factor for us losing our livestock.

“Tick-borne diseases are now affecting livestock, we are now expected to pay for dip vaccines on our own, but most people are unemployed as these vaccines are expensive,” said Ncube.

He said they usually get these vaccines in Bulawayo; however, the price has gone beyond the reach of many villagers.

“We had come up with a plan as villagers to contribute some few cents per homestead, those who have cattle to say let’s come together and save our livestock, but due to high inflation, you find that some people no longer afford to even meet other villagers halfway,” said Ncube.

He added that beside dip vaccines, their dams are drying up leaving livestock with no water sources.

“Drought has not spared our area, if we look at dams which both people and livestock survived on, they have all dried up, Sipepa/Mkethwa dam, Mcetshwa dam, Silambaphoba dam, Sawudweni, Mpanidziba, Mfunda, and Gariya dam still have water,” he said.

Meanwhile a survey conducted by CITE in the city centre revealed that dip vaccines we ranging from a price of ZW$87 to ZW$720.

“Those one which are ZW$87 are diluted and depend on a number of cattle one has, but those one ranging from ZW$396, ZW$720 you cannot dilute them.

“We often adjust prices, when you come back here on Monday you will find a different price,” said one shop attendant.

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