Cattle virus leaves farmers poorer

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Cattle and boys

Photo: Jesper Strudsholm

Polokwane - Farmers whose cattle were killed by a virus in Mopani, Polokwane would not be compensated, the Limpopo agriculture department said on Wednesday.

“The department will not compensate the farmers, but our focus will be on vaccinating the cattle,” spokesman Selby Makgotho said.

He said the department had a daily target of vaccinating 100 cattle as part of the vaccination drive.

This would be done through mobile ambulances equipped with medication for the cattle, said Makgotho.

“We have five mobile ambulances for each of the five districts in the province that were affected by the virus,” he said.

The virus - called Neethling, and which causes lumpy skin disease - is spread through insects biting livestock.

It had killed more than 30 cattle in Mopani, while at least 34

other cattle had died from the virus in Nwamitwa and neighbouring villages.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, lumpy skin disease is becoming a threat in most parts of Africa. Since it was discovered in 1929, it has killed dozens of cattle and buffalo in the Middle East, Kenya and Southern Africa.

People were also warned not to eat meat if they knew the cattle had been infected.

Sapa


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