Wednesday, October 28, 2020

DVS in cattle restocking blunder

The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) is said to have blundered into allowing cattle from Foot and Mouth infected areas into Bobirwa during the ongoing restocking exercise.
It has since emerged that the ongoing restocking exercise in Boteti region will compromise standards and efforts to fight and control the spread Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) as some cattle destined for restocking in Bobirwa are from the areas marked red zones by Botswana ;s major beef exporter, the European Union (EU). The area in question is the Zone 4A (Boteti).
The foot and mouth disease (FMD) fence at Zone 4A is said to be not well maintained and not monitored. Sources close to the area claim that sometimes buffalos destroy the fence and mix with cattle at Zone 4A.
Sources inside DVS say this led to EU declaring the whole of Zone 4A a red zone after their inspections this year. The whistleblower said that the result is that movement of cattle from the area to other area was prohibited.
Farmers in the area were shocked when they discovered during restocking that DVS allowed some farmers to sell and move cattle from the area to Bobirwa, Francistown and surrounding areas. It is understood that cattle from Zone 4A were not “checked for FMD neither were they inserted bolus.”
At a Kgotla meeting on Thursday in Letlhakane village, angry farmers are said to have informed President Ian Khama that DVS is allowing movement of cattle they bought from the Zone 4A to other places in the country whilst they prohibit farmers from doing so.
Khama promised to send the Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Minister Christian De Graaff to address the issue. Director of DVS Dr Letlhogile Chimbombi could not be reached for comments as he was locked in a meeting at the time of going to press.

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