By Vumani Mthiyane
Matabeleland South province has been hit by an outbreak of lumpy skin disease with a number of cattle succumbing to the disease.
Lumpy skin disease is a seasonal viral disease of cattle, spread by the poxvirus and usually occurs during the wet summer and autumn months, especially when there are high insect populations.
The disease causes production losses, pregnant cattle may abort, marked reduction in milk yield, pneumonia, infertility, permanent damage to hides (skin), emaciation (loss of body condition).
The Matabeleland South provincial officer in the Department of Veterinary Services Dr Enart Mdlongwa confirmed the development.
He, however, could not shed light on the current statistics of affected livestock as well the death toll.
Communal farmers from Umzingwane and Gwanda districts told CITE that the situation is dire.
Ward 6 Councillor, Amanda Khumalo said she has lost cattle to the disease.
Sifelani Dube from said he nearly lost one of his cows but was assisted by his neoghbour who gave him a vaccine.
Thithibele Ndlovu from Stanmore village in Gwanda district said they have been forced to slaughter some of the affected animals.