Monday, July 22, 2024

Mental torture hits Kgatleng cattle farmers

Judging from the mood of cattle farmers whose animals are continuously being killed by wildebeest transmitted disease called Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF), the recent massive wild fires which destroyed vegetation across Kgatleng before it penetrated into  the periphery of Mookane in the Central Districts would have done them good if wildebeest herds in the area had been destroyed as well. This wishful thinking may seem barbaric but it is understandable when one looks at financial loss farmers were experiencing as a result of the number of cattle killed by this incurable disease. Counting of the dead is now unbearable. Hardly a week passes without a farmer losing a cow or an ox even a bull. Every time a farmer’s phone rings from a herd boy at the cattle posts, even before answering the poor already concludes that it is about another demise of a cow. This is mental torture.

Wild fires raged through cattle posts of Kedinye, Makhubyane, Mmakgopong, Mashibitswane, Kgorotlhwe and Bokamoso in the last week of August. By God’s grace, it did not cross the Notwane River to reach an area which hosts large numbers of wildebeests. Had it crossed the river, it would have roasted wildlife species unless they escaped to safety. I did not find out from them what their attitude would be if wildfire would have killed wildebeests. But they would almost have been happier if large numbers of wildebeests had been killed. But they would certainly regret the loss of the springboks, kudus and the duikers of the area. They want wildebeests removed from their cattle post areas to where they could not cause human/wildlife conflict.

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