The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform has released the findings of an investigation into the mass mortalities of cattle in the Zambezi Region’s Kabe South constituency between June and November last year.

585 cattle, most of them old, pregnant, lactating, or young, died at 23 homesteads and 12 crush pen areas by the end of October.

Over 80% of the cattle visited were found to be in poor bodily condition at the time of the investigation, and poor grazing pastures were observed in most areas visited.

Post-mortem examinations conducted found lessions of liver fluke and heartwater in some cattle, while others were found to have diseases such as pasteurellosis, black quarter, and worm infestations.

It was also found that 80% of the affected farmers do not vaccinate or deworm their livestock against common diseases and infestations, while 75% of the affected farmers do not give much-needed feed supplements to their cattle.

In response, the Ministry has undertaken to offer free services, including the procurement of different drugs and remedies to assist farmers, at a cost of over N$2 million.

DVS officials in the Zambezi Region have so far vaccinated 89,152 cattle against anthrax, botulism, and blackquarter.

Farmers are further urged to vaccinate their cattle against common diseases, practice frequent deworming of their livestock, and provide supplements.

Farmers must also participate in government drought relief programmes and report any livestock deaths to DVS officials without delay.