The Department of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has called for community based solutions in the fight to eradicate Contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia (CBPP) disease in the country.
Principal Veterinary Research officer Dr. Geoffrey Muuka says CBPP has a high mortality rate of up to 90 percent and can wipe out the livestock industry if not controlled.
Dr. Muuka says once an affected animal comes into contact with a herd or enters a kraal, all the cattle are susceptible to contract the disease.
‘CBPP is an infectious lung disease caused by bacteria which is spread through the inhalation of air droplets from an affected animal’ He explained.
Dr. Muuka who is also a CBPP diagnostician says there is currently no known drug to cure the disease and treatment is Zambia is strictly prohibited.
‘one of the only effective way to control the CBPP is to stamp out or test and slaughter all positive heads of cattle in the country but this is very expensive exercise as it requires compensation the farmers all the animals slaughtered’ Dr. Muuka said.
He says the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has however put up with robust and effective control methods such as vaccination campaigns and the control of livestock movements to manage CBPP.
Dr Muuka says for this to succeed therefore is need for concerted efforts from the community.
‘we need the community to bring all their animals for vaccinations and when you see your neighbour’s cattle ‘increase’ overnight, ask him where he got the animals because movement of animals is one of the major sources of the spread of the disease’ Dr Muuka said.
He says the under the Animal Identification Act No. 28 of 2010, regulation is being put in place to ensure that cattle from a particular district and province will be given specific brand marks to help the veterinary department monitor livestock movement and also carry you out disease surveillance.
Dr. MUUKA was speaking in Mbala district, Northern Province during the CBPP sensitization workshop and creation of CBPP district disease task force committees.
He said CBPP is a disease of economic importance and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has projected to completely eradicate CBPP and make Zambia from the active disease by 2024.
‘by 2020 we hope to submit our progress to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), an intergovernmental organisation coordinating, supporting and promoting animal disease’ Dr Muuka added.
Dr. Muuka says the eradication of CBPP in 2024 will not only bring economic benefits to the country but also ensure that Zambia does not lose its genetic pool and bio diversity of indigenous livestock species such as the Angoni and Barotse cattlte breeds due to CBPP.
Meanwhile Chief Mwamba of the Mambwe speaking people in Mbala has praised the government for constructing livestock infrastructure in the district to support the growth of the livestock sector.
Chief Mwamba says infrastructure such as dip tanks and quarantine facilities will assist in disease control and ensure that livestock populations increase in his chiefdom.
He says as traditional leaders, it is their role to work with the community and the government in the control of livestock diseases in their areas.
Chief Mwamba however appealed to the government to consider providing sources of water for their livestock as climate change has negatively affected their cattle.